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THE MEMOIRS OF

ISMAIL KEMAL BEY


Edited by t

SOMMERVILLE STORY
With a Preface by

WILLIAM MORTON FULLERTON

LONDON
CONSTABLE AND COMPANY LTD
THE MEMOIRS OF
ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
First published

1920

Printed in Great Britain


CONTENTS

PART I

IN THE SERVICE OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE

CHAPTER I


1844 i860

The varying fortunes of an Albanian family Troublous times
— —
in the Ottoman Empire The " Lion of Janina " My birth and
— —
childhood Education of a young Albanian The first exile
pp. i-ig

CHAPTER II

i860— 1867

Entry into political and diplomatic life Early career at J anina—

Under Midhat Pasha at Rustchuk Midhat Pasha, reformer
— —
and administrator roumania a principality bulgarian ris-
— —
INGS European journey of Abd-ul-Aziz My marriage
pp. 20-40

CHAPTER III


1867 1871

Midhat Pasha and my relations with him Visit of the Prince

and Princess of Wales Governorship of Varna and Tultcha
— —
Visit of the Emperor Francis Joseph The European Com-
— —
mission of the Danube Troubles with Roumania The Franco-

Prussian War and its consequences in the East The Treaty
— —
of Paris German aims and Russian intrigues Aali Pasha

pp. 41-61
• v
I

vi CONTENTS

CHAPTER IV
1871— 1873
"
Chinese " Gordon and my friendship with him Measures of —

reformf in the danube province liberating the circassian
— —
slaves Administrative work The treatment of the Jews —

Death of Aali Pasha Mahmoud Nedim Pasha His chaotic —
— —
Grand Viziership The Sultan's conduct Russian intrigues —

Inquiry into my administration Midhat Pasha as Grand

Vizier Bismarck's missions to the East . pp. 62-89 .

CHAPTER V

1873 1876
a spell of the simple life— return to official duties— the vagaries
of Abd-ul-Aziz— Bismarck's aims in the East— The untiring
Iron Chancellor— My visit to Europe— Interview with Lord
— Mahmoud Nedim's infamy— Deposition of Abd-ul-Aziz
Derby
— Accession of Sultan Murad .... pp. 90-110

CHAPTER VI
1876

The accession of Murad V His growing mental aberration —
— —
Accession of Abd-ul-Hamid ....
The murder of the ministers The deposition of Murad
pp. 111-121

CHAPTER VII

1876 1877

The Bulgarian rising and its repression Russia's hand My work —
on the two commissions of inquiry— Terrible sights Diffi- —

culties with the English representatives Turkey's new
— —
Constitution Midhat Pasha Grand Vizier His difficulties
— The Sultan's duplicity and intrigues pp. 122-138
. .

CHAPTER VIII

1877
The International Conference —
The Powers' demands rejected —

Departure of the Ambassadors Midhat Pasha's difficulties
— —
with the Sultan His exile Letters from Colonel Gordon
PP- i39-!55
I

CONTENTS vii

CHAPTER IX
1877— 1884
After Midhat Pasha's departure —
The Russo- Turkish War and

Roumania's position The first Parliament An ill-timed —

REBELLION My SEVEN YEARS OF EXILE THE TREATY OF SAN
STEFANO MlDHAT PASHA'S RETURN, HIS ARREST AND TRIAL
pp. I56-I7O

CHAPTER X
1884— 1890
— —
As Governor of Bolu Death of Midhat Pasha The character of

a patriot Political atmosphere under Abd-ul-Hamid Prob- —
— —
lems at Bolu Putting down brigandage How I dealt with

the Circassians Administrative reforms . . pp. 171-185

CHAPTER XI
1890
— 1892
Retirement into private life desired, but not accomplished In- —

dustrial AND FINANCIAL ENTERPRISES A COMPLAINT AGAINST ME

Appointment as Governor of Gallipoli A struggle with the
— —
Sultan Two months' righting of abuses Governor-general
— —
of Beyrouth Quaint incidents Temporary Government of
— —
Syria Fiscal and other injustices Residence at Damascus
— — —
Recall to Constantinople .....
The Druses and the Noussairi The situation of Syria
pp. 186-207

CHAPTER XII
1892
My memorandum on the state of the Empire . . pp. 208-219

CHAPTER XIII
The Egyptian Question pp. 220-233

CHAPTER XIV
1892
— 1893

Receptions at the palace The character of the Sultan An


evening at the imperial theatre appointment as governor-
I

viii CONTENTS
General of Crete — Nominations that were never carried out —
Railway questions in Asia Minor— My appointment to Tripoli
A REMARKABLE MISE EN SCENE .... pp. 234-25 1

CHAPTER XV
The Armenian Question ...... pp. 252-271

CHAPTER XVI
1897
— I 9 00

My memorial to the Sultan— The Cretan Question— War with


Greece— My liberal newspaper, and the Sultan's hostility

to it— Experiences as Conseiller d'Etat Struggles with the
— —
Sultan Lord Rosebery's visit Unpleasant experiences —

The Turks and the Transvaal War Decision to exile me —
Relations with the throne more and more strained Second —

from Constantinople ......
appointment as Governor-General of Tripoli My departure
pp. 272-298

CHAPTER XVII
1900
— 1908

Journey through Europe Attacks on my life More offers from

— —
the Sultan Albanian intrigues My organ at Brussels —

Young Turk Conference at Paris Projects for remedying

Turkish affairs Support from Great Britain Abortive plans —

The Albanians of Sicily—-Reformers' lack of cohesion —

The Constitution proclaimed at last Electoral campaign —

Young Turks in power Return to Constantinople
PP. 299-320

CHAPTER XVIII

1908 1909

Return to Constantinople, and my reception there Kiamil Pasha's
— —
Vizierate Young Turk intrigues The Bosnia- Herzegovina
and Bulgaria questions, and my work on them The plot —

against Kiamil Pasha Hussein Hilmi Pasha Grand Vizier —

Russian pretensions Arbitrary acts of the new Government
— —
Young Turk intimidation Growing discontent which at

PART IN IT—A MEMORABLE DAY ....
last bursts The military rebellion of April 13TH, and my
pp. 321-329
CONTENTS ix

CHAPTER XIX
1909
— 1910
My interview with Abd-ul-Hamid— A changed Sultan—Young
Turk reprisals— Efforts to avert a catastrophe— Exiled again
— Deposition of Abd-ul-Hamid and accession of his brother—
My return to Constantinople— Incidents in the Chamber—
The Bagdad railway question — The Committee of Union and
Progress Masters of the Empire . . .
pp. 340-352

PART II

Albania and the Albanians ..... pp. 353-386

APPENDIX
1897
Memorial presented to His Imperial Majesty the Sultan by
Ismail Kemal Bey, former Governor-General of Tripoli,
dated February 12/24TH, 1312/1897 . .
pp. 387-397
.

Index ......... pp. 399-410


INTRODUCTION
" "
In prefixing to the Memoirs of Ismail Kemal Bey, in
"
guise of Introduction/' a few unnecessary, but, let me
hope, not absolutely futile, comments, I am merely keeping
a promise solemnly made during the months we passed to-
gether in Paris in 1917 and 1918. It was, no doubt, natural
enough for Ismail Kemal Bey to suggest some such associa-
tion. Certainly his book would not have been written but
for my urgent insistence. Moreover, too directly and
absorbingly involved in matters connected with the pro-
gress of the war to offer my friend the constant collabora-
tion which he solicited —
and which, in fact, he needed I —
was able to provide him with the indispensable assistance
"
which the occasion demanded. These Memoirs," indeed,
" "
are edited by Mr. Sommerville Story and it is a duty
;

both to Ismail Kemal Bey and to Mr. Story to leave no


" "
doubt as to what the editing in question means.
The making of this book was a laborious process. Dur-
ing its production Ismail Kemal Bey was distracted both
by grave personal, often harrowing, problems, and by
patriotic preoccupations and intrigues as to the future of
his Albanian fatherland. He did not, no doubt he could
not, give to its composition his undivided time. His
shifting enthusiasms and curiosities, his spasmodic disap-
pearances, even his halting methods when he returned
intermittently to the task of assembling his recollections,
made an accumulation of extremely unfavourable condi-
tions for the success of the operation in which Mr. Story
found himself engaged. Yet, without such assistance as
xi
xii INTRODUCTION
" "
Mr. Story gave, these Memoirs could never have seen
the light. Boswell interviewed Johnson with joy for long
years. But Johnson usually kept his appointments. Mr..
Story interviewed Ismail Kemal Bey for long months,
capturing him when he could. Quiet assiduous contacts
(

of steady and fruitful work were followed by long inter-

ruptions in which it was inevitable that the hero of the tale


should sometimes lose the thread. With an admirable
" "
patience the editor returned to the task, noting, con-
scientiously arranging, then as conscientiously submitting
to Ismail Kemal Bey for verification and revision, the some-
what disordered, yet always remarkably rich, memories
of his interlocutor.The result, in my opinion, given the
circumstance, is remarkable. It seems to me amply to

justify insistent appeal to Ismail Kemal Bey to sound


my
the depths of his accumulated experience as an Ottoman
Statesman of the old school.
" "
These are, indeed, something more than the
Memoirs
observations of a very wise old Albanian gentleman. They
are an extremely personal, exceptionally detached, report
concerning an Ottoman world which, however prehistoric
it has apparently become, in consequence of the war, is still

not so remote as to be without its multiple suggestions,


even for the present hour, and for the immediate future.
The period in which Ismail Kemal Bey played the essential
and interesting part of his life-work recorded in this volume
" "
is that of the good old
days of the secret diplomacy that
has been of late so flippantly discredited. My old chief,
M. de Blowitz, was wont to say "
Les memorialistes
:

ecartent les consequences," by which he meant that a cer-


tain saline scepticism is the sauce with which to serve up
Memoirs and Biographies. M. de Blowitz was right. The
duty of the historian who finds himself obliged to use
first

an autobiography as a document is to discover the real


pretext of its existence, exactly why it was written. Now,
it should be remembered that Ismail Kemal
Bey, who was
INTRODUCTION xiii

a friend of the great Midhat Pasha, and a man of genuine


"
Liberalism," so quickly became, after all, so isolated a
figure amid the personages of the Ottoman stage that,
in
his case at ftll events, the precautions normally to be taken
in the perusal of Memoirs may be considerably diminished
without grave risk. At least, let me add what I may to the
authority of these particular Memoirs by testifying to the
fact that they were certainly not inspired by personal

vanity :I repeat that their author would not have under-

taken them if he had not been energetically pressed to


write them.
" "
However this may be, Ismail Kemal Bey's Memoirs
are now and careful study of these pages will
accessible,
convince, any competent student of international
I believe,

affairs that, if Ismail Kemal Bey's master had followed the


beacon lights of policy more than once offered him by that
intelligent servitor, such action would have been to the
advantage of the Empire, and probably of Europe. It
has become the fashion to allow international business to
be carried on by politicians who are not even amateurs ;

whereas not so long ago such business was done by profes-


sionals. One excellent interest of Ismail Kemal Bey's
book is the way it illustrates the, after a priori verity
all,

that the old method is infinitely the best. In his latter


days Ismail Kemal Bey's direct vision had become, no
doubt, a somewhat oblique, distorted regard. I remember

a score of conversations with him in Paris, at certain


critical moments of the German War, in which he foretold
the necessary defeat of the Allies. I owe it to him
But,
immediately to say that his two main arguments were,
first, his conviction that, if the War lasted, Russia would

collapse exactly as she did collapse, and secondly, his canny


scrutiny of the ravages caused on the Continent and in
England, and, in fact, all about the planet, by the sophistical
formulas of Mr. Wilson. Thus, during the War Ismail
Kemal Bey was often discouraging for those of us whose
xiv INTRODUCTION
faith in the defeat of Germany never wavered. But, if
Ismail Kemal Bey was discouraging, was it not just because
his judgment in general was known to be so solid ? How
avoid being slightly affected by any verdict f*om a man*
whose experience of Constantinople, of Middle Europe, of
the Balkans, of England, and even of France, had been so
varied, prolonged and rich a man who had tacked so
;

adroitly for so many years amid the difficulties that swarmed


like nebulae in the old cosmopolitan Ottoman world who ;

" '

had been the intimate of Chinese Gordon, Gordon of


Khartoum, and the friend of a score of European states-
men who, as president of the Commission of the Danube,
;

had had the opportunity of probing the motives of the


policies of a half-dozen Powers a man, in a word, who
;

had seen so much and known so many other men, had, in


fact, so abundantly and so richly lived, that a habit of
general ideas had become natural to him, and that his
chief intellectual entertainment was watching how human
factors converge and combine to determine resultants of
force which rarely reflect conscious intentions ? During a
friendship of many years, indeed, I do not recall a single
instance in which Ismail Kemal Bey, analysing the inter-
national situation, displayed that familiar intellectual dis-
honesty characterised by an ingenious dosing of one's
desires with one's real vision, of one's sentiment with one's

thought. The realist who, in exile at — Prinkipo,


mind you !
—wrote in 1892 to his masterPrinkipo
"
In State affairs
:

it is interest that guides politics and


inspires conduct,"
is the keen-sighted diagnostician of the masterly analysis
of "Bismarck's Eastern policy viewed in the light of that

grea: Statesman's entire continental plan.


Take for instance the following :

"
No historical utterance has been more often quoted
'
than the celebrated remark of Bismarck that the Eastern
question was not worth the bones of a Pomeranian grena-
I

INTRODUCTION xv

dier.' But, although so often quoted, no historical utter-


ance has ever been the cause of so much ambiguous com-
ment, or has been more constantly misunderstood and
misinterpreted. It has even been used to corroborate the
views of those who would contrast the alleged prudent
policy of Bismarck in cautiously confining his ambitions to
the consolidation of a united Germany in Europe with the
presumptuous world-policy of his successors under Wil-
liam II, who, heedless of the safe Bismarckian methods, by
their violent demonstrations caused the Powers to take
alarm and unite against the Pan-Germanist danger.
" In these
pages I endeavour to show the workings of the
Bismarckian policy with regard to the East. The reader
will see the beginnings initiated by Bismarck himself of
that logical movement of Pan-Germanist expansion, the
consequences of which became patent to all many years
later after the great Statesman's disappearance from the

political scene, and which have become still more evident


in their glaring nakedness in the horrors of the present
War."

And take this passage with reference to the war of 1870:

"
After the three months' sanguinary struggle between
the French and German armies, and after the academical dis-
cussion among the representatives of the Powers in London,
Bismarck succeeded in imposing his onerous conditions
of peace on France, and in making dislocated Europe

accept Russia's arbitrary [the Denunciation of the Treaty


of Paris] act with the mere reservation of this principle,
drawn up at the Conference of London : that in future
treaties could only be modified with the common consent
of all the signatories. It was the first time that Europe
had in such an abject form submitted to seeing a treaty

summarily declared invalid when its beneficiary was a weak


nation.
xvi INTRODUCTION
"
The double news of the conclusion of peace and the
decision of the London Conference was received by us in
the East with natural satisfaction. Public confidence being
re-established, conditions once again became normal:
One of the competitors to world domination being set aside,
the European equilibrium had now changed, and the three
Great Powers, Germany, Great Britain, and Russia, had
entered on a new phase of their history. The formation
of the German Empire had completely altered the political
face of the world, and the Powers found themselves obliged
to establish a fresh equilibrium on which their respective
interests should be based.
"
Germany, which had obtained a kind of hegemony in
Europe, now had as her aim to consolidate her work and
prepare for her future world-policy. Bismarck never lost
time in overweening contemplation of his successes or in
resting on his laurels. The greater his achievements, the
more he was inclined to take precautions not only to safe-
guard them, but to prepare for future advances and
triumphs. He had now two primary preoccupations

first, to assure the isolation of France and prevent her from

having a Government capable of inspiring confidence in the


other Powers, and thus obtaining for herself allies against
Germany secondly, to consolidate the good relations of
;

Germany with the other Powers. Feeling that Germany


had been too long in leading-strings to Russia, he now
all

sought to reverse the roles and deprive Russia of a free


hand in the Orient."

If Ismail Kemal Bey was the penetrating political thinker


that this and another passage of the present volume
many
reveal, it was because, as the French say, he had revenu de
beaucoup de choses, he had boxed the compass of manifold
" '

events, his curiosity had fared far afield, he had returned


therefrom with few illusions. His temper, however, was
never cynical. His stoicism was of too philosophic an
INTRODUCTION xvii

Eastern texture to assume the grosser forms, such as the


" "
je men fichisme or the I should worry of certain states
of mind. Perhaps this is why he had always a certain
sympathy for Spain, the Spain of the mahanu. But, while
his disillusionments assumed no cynical shapes t^ey greatly
facilitated his insights. There is a particularly charac-
teristic,and even charming, illustration of this in the
proud page where he analyses the difference between such
"
as had been his own and that of Midhat
'

Liberalism

Pasha what a magnificent tribute, his, to that great
Statesman !

and the
"
Liberalism
"
of too many a
Westerner whose hypocrisy he had discerned :

"
The Liberals of Western Europe seem to me like the
heirs to great fortunes, who
think only of enjoying the
wealth acquired by the efforts and the sacrifices of their
ancestors. In these countries Liberalism is only the label
of a party or a means of attaining to power. But in the
autocratically ruled countries of the East, in which even
the thought of Liberal ideas arouses conflict and evokes all
kinds of dangers, Liberalism is surrounded with trouble
and risk. It never helps anyone to attain to power on ;

the contrary, those who espouse such thoughts run the


risk of losing position and even their life. These were the
risks that Midhat Pasha willingly incurred. He possessed
the supreme courage of making known his Liberalism at the
moment when any others, having arrived at the height of
their ambitions and power, would rather for their own pre-
servation have shown a certain reserve for, though a
;

Statesman may espouse Liberalism at the commencement


of his career as a means to power, it is rare for one to reveal
a Liberal spirit when one has got power, and push it to such
a point as to risk losing it all."

When the German War broke, Ismail Kemal Bey, who


was well over seventy, beheld in that cataclysm above all
b
xviii INTRODUCTION
an opportunity to end his life logically with Albanian
honour. He resolved, in the spirit of his Liberalism of half
a century before, but with few enough illusions as to the
success of his -venture, to utilise, up to the limit of their
availabilitv for his own beloved Fatherland, all the doc-
trinaire principles that were being so lavishly launched
from Washington, as from a juggler's cornucopia. He
" "
came to Paris to plead the cause of Albania before the
Peace Conference. But the question was "Of what :

The helpless Old Man was a symbol of the


'

Albania ?
disillusionment in store for half-a-hundred potential Peoples
who had hied to Paris as to a Mecca. What added to
the pathos of the spectacle was that, for the sake of the
country which he wished to see independent, Ismail Kemal
Bey felt bound ambiguously to truckle to Principalities

and Powers between whose reciprocally warring interests


the pure tint of his own patriotic loyalty inevitably assumed
shifting chameleonic shadings. This is inevitable, and it
was inevitable as well that other Albanian chieftains, clans,
and interests should seek to further their own ambitions by
calumniating a rival's motives. As a matter of fact, a
secret treaty between Italy and the Allies had virtually
" "
banished all hope of real self-determination for Albania.
But Ismail Kemal Bey hoped against hope, and his hope
was in America. I well remember his satisfaction when he

brought me it was some time in February 1918 a fine —
"
parchment emanating from a Convention of the National
"
Party of Albania that had been held two months before
at Worcester, Massachusetts, and establishing his credentials
as the representative of the Albanian colony in America,
"
with the mission to insure and guarantee the complete
political and commercial independence of Albania," and
"
to secure such alterations in the boundaries of Albania as
shall include within her limits those lands, or provinces, in-
habited almost exclusively by Albanians, and which were
unwisely and unjustly severed from her by the Ambassadorial
INTRODUCTION xix

Conferences in London in 1912 and 1913 and given to


Greece, Serbia, and Montenegro."
How expect Ismail Kemal Bey, in accepting this mandate,
and the stipend accompanying it, to dash the hopes of his
generous compatriots by revealing to them tl*e unsus-
pected complexities of the task they had thrust upon him,
complexities due to the fact that Albanian unity and
national integrity had been imperilled, not only by the
" "
Ambassadorial Conferences of 1912 and 1913, but also,
and even more, by the secret assurances given to Italy in

1915 providing for her virtual protectorate of that country ?


The aged statesman disappeared from Paris, leaving in
"
Mr. Story's hands his unfinished Memoirs." They are
a torso like the State he served. Ismail Kemal Bey died
in Italy, his own plan unachieved. But, though his life,
aesthetically speaking, was a failure, and a melancholy one,
"
he has left behind him, in these his Memoirs," a curious
and — now that the abdication of America, coupled with
the resurrection of Russia, entailing a new Pan-Slavic drive,
is determining at Constantinople the sane policy of the
maintenance of the integrity of the nugget of the Ottoman

Empire suggestive, and even precious, picture of a
vanished world which some of us long ago began to regret.

W. M. F.
Paris,
February 17, 1920.
THE MEMOIRS OF ISMAIL
KEMAL BEY
PART I

IN THE SERVICE OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE

CHAPTER I


1844 i860
The varying fortunes of an Albanian family Troublous times —
in the Ottoman Empire—'The
" Lion of
Janina
"
My birth and —

childhood Education of a young Albanian The first exile —
I was born in January, 1844, at Valona (or Avlona), the
Albanian town where many years later I was to proclaim
the independence of my native country. My father was
Mahmoud Bey Vlora, my mother Hedie Hanoum, of
Argyrokastro. The period of my birth followed the most
momentous epoch which the Ottoman Empire, of which
Albania was a part, had ever traversed. The collapse of
the sovereign power of Ali Pasha of Janina the constitu- ;

tion of the kingdom of Greece the recognition of the


;

semi-independent government of Mehemet Ali in Egypt ;

the entry of the Ottoman Empire into the European Con-


cert, and the corollary of this latter event, the promulgation
of the Hatt of Gulhane, which inaugurated the era of equality
x

1
The Hatt (or Rescript) of Gulhane may be called the Magna Charta
of the Ottoman people. It is a fundamental law guaranteeing equality
to all, without distinction of race or religion, and inviolability of the
I
2 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
and of
justice for all the people in the Empire, regardless
race or religion —
these were events of great and far-reaching
importance. Greece was a sort of wedge inserted into the
body of the Empire in Europe, which at any moment might
be thrusf deeper in a way to dislocate the European body
of Turkey and threaten even the stability of the capital
itself. At the same time the creation of a Mussulman
dynasty in Egypt, forming a centre of Islam opposite to the
Hedjaz and the heart of the Arab world, was prejudicial
to the Khalifate of the Sultan.
The most significant of all these changes, however, was
the entry of the Empire into the rank of civilised Powers,
and the first step on this new road was the abolition of the
regime of disorder. It is unfortunate that the then Sultan
and his enlightened counsellors were forced by past events
to establish an excessively centralised system, which, de-
fective and vicious in its nature, was in contradiction to
the spirit and traditions of the Empire. I venture to believe

that if the Sublime Porte, instead of concentrating all the

administrative power at Constantinople, had improved the


existing system of self-government, ridding it of its abuses,
the empire would have made immense progress in its
internal administration. The statesmen who at that
time presided over the destinies of the Empire went for their
sources of inspiration only to the French system, which
strikes the imagination and is easily assimilable owing to
its theoretical and logical clearness. Hence it is that in
Turkey there exists an administrative legislation which

individual and property. This Hatt was read in 1839 by Rechid Pasha,
in the presence of the Sultan Abd-ul-Medjid, of the Ambassadors of the
Powers, and all the dignitaries and the public, at Gulhane, the immense
garden of the Seraglio at Byzantium. By this Hatt the Sultan undertook

to respect the laws during his lifetime taking as his witnesses the repre-
sentatives of the Powers present — and pronounced the anathema of
God and the Prophet on any of his descendants who should infringe it
in any way. After the reading of the Hatt the Sultan went to the hall
in which the Standard and Mantle of the Prophet are kept, and took
a religious oath to the same effect, ,
TURKISH POLICY IN ALBANIA 3

is complete from the theoretical point of view, but abso-


lutely negative in its practical results.
As regards Albania, two main factors made the Govern-
ment anxious and cautious as to the guiding policy to be
followed in that country — first, the risks entailecl by the

creation of a new state in the neighbourhood, and secondly,


the automatic reinstatement of all the powerful Albanian
families in their hereditary posts, which had been suspended
during the government of Ali Pasha. These two considera-
tions, taken in conjunction with the ties that existed
between the chiefs of the Greek insurrection (who were
mostly Albanian Christians) and the heads of the Albanian
noble families, led the Sublime Porte to pay particular
attention to Lower Albania, and to take exceptional
measures with regard to that province. What was feared
was the possibility of the appearance of another chief after
the manner of Ali Pasha.
The founder of the family of Vlora, from which I came,
1

was Sinan Pasha, who after having occupied the post of


Grand Vizier, went to Valona in the time of Suleyman the
Magnificent, in the capacity of Captain Pasha, or Grand
Admiral of the Fleet. He fixed his residence there definitely
and ended his days there.
The Albanians after the conquest, and particularly after
the conversion of the great mass of the people to Islam,
tried to find titles of nobility for their families in connections
of Anatolian origin, just as the ancient Greeks pretended
that they were descended from noble Egyptian families.

1 Albanian noble families take


the name of the locality where they
are settled or of the founder of the house. When a family is unique
in a locality, it is always known by the name of that locality. Thus
our family bears the name of Vlora, which is the Albanian name of Valona.
These noble families only intermarry with those of other regions ;

marriages never take place between the noble family and families of
lesser rank in the country. The head of a family is regarded as the
father of the locality, and in spite of the religious ordinance, the women
of the country do not hide their faces before this chief.
/

4 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY


But the truth is, our ancestor Sinan Pasha was a pure
Albanian and we are proud to feel that during the Otto-
;

man domination, in spite of much unjust treatment from


the Turkish rulers, we served the Empire faithfully, while
at the same time preserving pure and undefiled our Albanian

patriotism.
Sinan Pasha's descendants continued to enjoy distin-
guished offices in the Empire all through its subsequent
troubled history. They had in their hands more particu-
larly the government of the countries of Berat and Valona,
which together formed one of the three Sanjaks (or depart-
ments) of the province of Janina. This succession of
hereditary power lasted until the famous Ali Pasha became
absolute master of Janina.
Our family, on account of its ancient origin and the
peculiar character geographically of the country where it
held sway, exercised at all times a very great influence in
the affairs and the destiny of Albania. For more than four
centuries our family enjoyed great consideration from the
Ottoman Empire, although also from time to time it suffered
greatly from the misdeeds and the capricious tyranny of
the Ottoman overlords. Sometimes, when I pass in review
the vicissitudes of my ancestors, I am astonished at the
fact that, despite such continued repetitions of unjust
treatment, this family should have remained attached to
the Empire. But men support with more or less resignation
misfortunes that, by continual repetition, assume the as-
pect of fatality. The inhabitants of the townlets sur-

rounding the base of Vesuvius, who are so often buried


under the lava belched forth by this terrible volcano,
nevertheless return again and again after each catastrophe,
and rebuild on the ruins of their former homes. So it was
with that political volcano, the Ottoman Empire its :

victims, each successive generation, returned again and


again to their allegiance.
"
Ali Pasha, the Lion of Janina," coming from an obscure
ALI PASHA OF JAN IN A 5

family of Tepeleni, had no title at all to play any role in


Albania. 1 At once cunning, bold, and savage, he began
" "
his career as a chief and receiver of brigands. Gradually
he secured a certain influence in the immediate neighbour-
hood of his native town. Owing to his having contracted
a marriage tie with the family of Del vino, he was able to
2

widen the area of his tyrannical activities then, having ;

betrayed his father-in-law by denouncing him as a traitor,


and causing him to be put to death, he was able to instal
himself in his place as head of the Government of Del vino.
In good time he also succeeded in seizing the government of
Janina. Hesitant before no act of usurpation or crime,
he gradually eliminated all the noble families of Albania
in order to own authority. There still
strengthen his
remained our family, which resisted him at Berat and
Valona. In order to get them in his power, he first of all
managed to contract an alliance by a double marriage of
his two sons, Mouktar Pasha and Vely Pasha, with the
two daughters of my great-uncle Ibrahim Pasha, governor
of the two towns. Then, under the pretence of nullifying
the ambitions of the French, who at that time possessed a
protectorate over the Ionian Islands, with their dependen-
cies Preveza and Parga on the Albanian littoral, and with
a view to protecting the Albanian coast from invasion by
them, he declared war against Ibrahim Pasha, assuring
Albania, divided into Upper and Lower Albania, continued to be
1

administered, always under the sovereignty of the Sultans, by the noble


families of the country. Among those who ruled in this sort of semi-
sovereignty were, at Scutari, in Northern Albania, the family of Bouchat,
whose last representative was Mustafa Pasha ;
for Kossovo there was
the family of Pristina and that of Kalkandelen (or Tetovo). In Lower
Albania there was first our family for Berat and Valona and that of
;

Pasha Kallo for Janina. Besides these families there were others who

had local authority sometimes disputed by a rival family in the same
locality
— such as the family of Toptaniat Tiranna, that of Plassa in Central
Albania, that of Kaplan Pasha at Argyrokastro, and others more or less
influential at Elbassan, Mati, Okhrida, and other towns.
*
A town of Lower Albania half-way between Argyrokastro and the
sea.
6 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
the Sublime Porte that this latter was under French influ-
ence. The result of this little campaign being favourable
to Ali Pasha, Ibrahim Pasha was taken prisoner and in-
carcerated at Janina, where, after suffering fhe harshest
treatment for twelve years, he died just as Ali Pasha was
himself being besieged by the Imperial troops.
In consequence of the temporary disappearance of our
family, AliPasha became supreme master of Janina, Berat,
Valona, Delvino, Argyrokastro, of a portion of Macedonia
as far as Monastir, of Thessaly and nearly the whole of
continental Greece and Morea. The Sultan, uneasy at
thisgrowing power, declared Ah Pasha a rebel and outlaw.
An expedition was undertaken against him. His two sons,
who had been given the government of Greece and Thessaly,
surrendered to the Sultan. Arrested, one at Konia and the
other at Ankora, they were beheaded. My grandfather,
Ismail Bey, and those who remained of the Albanian
nobility, hastened to take part in this campaign against
the common aggressor.
After an eighteen months' siege, he could hold out no
longer. Hesitating for a long time between the temptation
to blow himself up with the garrison by firing the powder
magazine under the citadel, and the instinctive wish to
live, he finally decided that he preferred life, and threw
himself on the Sultan's mercy. He was transferred to
the island situated in the lake of Janina, en route for Con-
stantinople, and took refuge in the convent of Pantaleimon
there, with the famous Bassilikee, his Christian wife.
1
Here,
in spite of the parole that had been given, he was attacked

1
Bassilikee was a captive of Ali Pasha who fell into his hands on the
destruction of her village at Souli in the Epirus. When the troops of
Ali Pasha entered the village, Bassilikee, who was about thirteen or
fourteen years of age, threw herself at the feet of the conqueror and
offered herself as a sacrifice in order that her mother, brother and sisters
might be saved. Ali Pasha, deeply impressed by her self-abnegation
and her beauty, kept her captive and gave orders to have the family
placed in safety. His admiration changed into ardent love, and Bassilikee
GREEK INSURRECTION 7

by the Ottoman troops, and after a strenuous resistance,


he was overcome and beheaded.
in spite of his great age,

Although his sons had abandoned him, when they threw


themselves on the supposed mercy of the Sultan, Ali Pasha
had continued to create disorder in Greece by supporting
the Armatoles, against whom he had so frequently struggled
during his days of power, and most of whom were Christian
Albanian chiefs. This movement, while it did not save
"
the Lion of Janina," after a time developed into a general
insurrection with a view to bringing about Greek inde-
pendence. If Ali Pasha had been less a man of his time
and better endowed with political forethought, he would
himself have organised this coup in time, and Albania and
Greece, with the whole of Thessaly and Macedonia, might
have become an independent State and a kingdom of great
importance.
During my grandfather,
this insurrection of the Greeks,
Ismail Bey, who had
again taken up the administration of
Valona, and his cousin, Suleyman Pasha, who had been
restored to the government of Berat, took part in the
fighting against them at the head of their troops of the
Sanjak ;
but in consequence of a dispute with the com-
mander-in-chief of the Turkish Army of Missolonghi, they
abandoned the cause and returned home.
When the Greek campaign was over and the new kingdom
had been constituted, Rechid Pasha, Grand Vizier and
Commander-in-chief of the Turkish Army, 'went to Janina
to re-establish order and strengthen the sovereignty of the
Sultan in Albania. In order to take vengeance on my
grandfather, Rechid Pasha invited him to Janina, assuring

became his favourite wife and ruler. After his death she remained
devotedly attached to his memory. The Sultan Mahmoud, who had
caused her to be brought to Constantinople with the survivors of the
family of Ali Pasha, wanted to have her in the harem of his Seraglio,
but she repulsed his offers and preferred a wandering life abroad.
1
The same who was later taken prisoner by Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt
at Konia.
8 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
him that he had been designated as the governor-general
of the province. In spite of the warning given him by a
number of Albanian chiefs who were at Janina, Ismail Bey,
who unfortunately attributed their warnings to jealousy,
went there with a force of five hundred men. On their
arrival his men were at once billeted in various houses in
the town. He himself was requested to go at once to
Rechid Pasha in order to be invested in his new functions,
a ceremony which would not brook delay. He repaired
immediately on horseback with a small suite to the govern-
ment palace in the famous citadel. The gates closed behind
him and the suite, and in the very act of dismounting my
grandfather and his attendants were shot down, and he
himself was decapitated. After this my father and my
three uncles, all young children, were deported with the
family, and shut up in the fortress of Berat. Several years
intervened before they were allowed to return to Valona.
During these years, as Suleyman Pasha was dead, the
government of Berat was accorded to the parvenu family
of Viryoni. The Viryoni were chosen solely in order to
weaken and destroy the influence of our family in the
country. The same general principles were followed in
other parts of Albania, people of obscure origin being
pushed forward to the detriment of the old noble families.
Public confidence had scarcely been restored after these
changes, which had so seriously shaken the confidence of
the Albanians in their rulers, when, about 1848 or 1849,
the Sublime Porte decided to apply to Albania the funda-
mental law known under the name of the Tanzimat (promul-
gated by the Halt of Gulhane), which imposed direct taxes
and compulsory military service. These measures, suddenly
put into force, were as damaging to the interests of
the nobles as they were obnoxious to the general public.
The result was a general rising throughout the country.
The Turkish Army, sent against us by land and by sea,
marched into the country, and fierce fighting ensued during
EXILE 9

several months, fighting in which the Imperial troops were


often beaten. All the Albanian chiefs, prominent among
whom were % my father and my uncle Selim Pasha, at the
head of their adherents and armed forces, took up positions
in the most impregnable parts of the country. One of the
principal military chiefs of the insurgents was Gion Leka,
who had avenged my
grandfather, Ismail Bey, by killing
the Master of the Robes of Rechid Pasha, while he was
boasting of having beheaded Ismail Bey, and who was
therefore attached to our family by special ties.
When the Imperial army had succeeded in suppressing
the rising, all the chiefs of the aristocracy and the notables
who had taken part in the movement were arrested and
deported to Konia in Asia Minor. Others were imprisoned
at Constantinople. The families of the higher chiefs were
deported to Salonica, and to various towns in Macedonia.
My father and my uncle Selim Pasha were arrested and
taken to Monastir, the headquarters of the Roumelian
army corps.My two other uncles were arrested at Valona,
when the Turkish regular army, which arrived by boat
(the first steamboats to arrive in these regions, called by
"
the Albanians the sailless vessels"), had already taken

possession of the town and port. Their departure naturally


caused great trouble in the family. Then came the order
for us —
my mother, with my brother and sister and myself,
who were all little children, and my father's grandmother —
to leave the town and start for exile. These events, which
upset the whole of Southern Albania, took place when I
was so young that I was unable to understand their meaning,
and still less able to form any judgment about them. The
many comings and goings of my father, my uncles, and the
other chieftains of the time, with their numerous retinues,
all splendidly equipped, had simply awakened my childish
curiosity and amused me, save when, as sometimes happened,
there were scenes of bloodshed.
Our departure, with a suite of over fifty Albanian
io ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
cavaliers,had more the appearance of a festive journey
than such a sad exodus. Whither we were going, with
what object and for what reason, no one knew. The ardent
wish to rejoin our exiled relatives was in the eyes of us
children the only attraction attached to this jump into the
unknown. The journey took place without official guide
and without official escort. We halted at each of the chief
towns of Albania, Berat, Elbassan, Okhrida, and Monastir,
where we were received by the authorities and the popu-
lation with every mark of honour. We passed weeks,
and one or two cases even months, in these towns before
in

continuing our journey. After a stay of a fortnight at


Monastir, and having left there a cumbersome portion of
the suite and the baggage, we left that town and bade
adieu to Albania.
My sister and I, despite the pleasure we took in the
journey, and the shifting scenes of the countries we passed
through, sometimes asked each other what the reasons
might be for all this long pilgrimage, and whether we were
always to be exiled from our home. As we went farther and
farther in a non-Albanian country, where the country itself,
the costumes, language, and everything else contrasted so
sharply with what we had been accustomed to in Albania,
our childish spirits tended to evaporate and a certain
sadness and longing took possession of us. This sadness
was increased by the death of our grandmother, who
succumbed at a khan, or inn, en route, and was buried at
Jenidze. We felt this blow as keenly as our tender years
permitted. At Salonica M. Grasset, the French consul,
who knew our family when he was consul at Janina, and
was a great friend of my father, on learning of our approach-
ing arrival, met us with a coach and took us to the house
he had prepared for us. The honours and kindness showered
on us by this excellent man caused much curiosity and
astonishment among the Turkish population of the town,
as they could not understand that a family could be Mussul-
LIFE IN EXILE n
man and yet not speak Turkish, while they equally failed
to comprehend how a Mussulman family could be related
to the Christian Balioz (or consul), and to them the bestowal
of kindness of this sort was only conceivable on the assump-
tion of there being some relationship between us. During
the three years of our exile at Salonica, we lived under
the direct and active protection of this kindly French
consul. His protection was on two particular occasions
that I recall of great and memorable value. On one occasion
Kiahia Bey, chief of the Cabinet of the Governor-General
came to our house with the intention of turning
of Salonica,
us out and of himself taking possession of it. M. Grasset
came quickly to our rescue, and did not leave us until
Kiahia Bey had abandoned his project and departed.
On another occasion my mother, who was suffering from
typhus, was believed to be dead, and M. Grasset came,
and as a measure of precaution, placed seals on all the
cupboards and boxes just as if we were in reality French
proteges.
My mother, young, and in a foreign country as she was,
a country of which she knew neither the customs nor the
language, showed much tact and capacity in directing the
daily life of the family. She established friendly relations
both for ourselves and for the families of the Beys of El
Bassan, who lived near us during this exile, with the best
Salonican families, Mussulman, Christian, or Jewish. During
this exile she not only kept the household going, but managed
the family estates, sending confidential men to Valona to
attend to matters there, and forwarding money to my
father at Konia. We children began to accustom ourselves
to the life of Salonica. One event only spoiled our stay
and that was the death
there, of our little brother, Suley-
man. To this day, whenever I go to Salonica, I always
make a point of visiting his little marble tomb in the court-
yard of the Mosque of Ortaj.
The severe measures adopted by the Sublime Porte
12 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
against the Albanians, while their object was the very
praiseworthy one of general reforms in the Empire, never-
theless concealed the perpetual desire of Turkish chauvinists
to bring about the unification of all the races in the Empire.
Looking back on these events from the time when I am now
writing, it would almost seem to have been the beginning
of the political programme of the Young Turks, with this
difference, thatthey were directed by Rechid Pasha, the
author of the Tanzimat, and a group of men of great talent
and patriotism who made their appearance at this time,
and who would have done honour to any country in the
world. The political error they had made and its probable
consequences having been recognised, a change of feeling
and of policy towards Albania was decided on. Before
proclaiming a general amnesty, the new intentions of the
Imperial Government were to be manifested, and as a sort
of pledge of the sincerity of these intentions, there were
chosen as Governor-General of Lower Albania (with Janina
as residence), Ismail Rahmy Pasha, grandson of the famous
Ali Pasha of Janina, and as Governor-General of Upper
Albania (with Prisrent as residence), Ismail Pasha Plassa.
On their way to take up their posts the two Governors-
General both came to Salonica. As the one was my paternal
uncle and the other my maternal uncle, they visited our
family and brought us the good news of the Sublime Porte's
new Albanian policy, assuring us at the same time that we
should shortly be allowed to return to our country. As a
matter of fact, in less than two months we were again per-
mitted, as were the other nobles, to return to Albania,
and we went home to Valona. A little after our arrival,
first my father, and then my uncle, returned to their homes,

as did also the other survivors among the deported


chiefs and imprisoned notables. Only my uncle Selim
Pasha and the famous warrior chieftain Tchelo Pitsari,
being considered by the Government as elements of danger,
were obliged to stay for some time in Thessaly.
EARLY EDUCATION 13

Our return to Valona was the signal for the automatic


departure of the interim governor, and the administration
of the country again passed to my father as head of the

family. \Ve found our house almost destroyed. It had

been occupied during our absence by the goveVnor, who,


at the news of our approaching return, broke up every-
thing, and took away with him whatever articles had any
value. We had to stay for several weeks in the house of
one of the notables of Valona while our house was again
being prepared to receive us. The population acclaimed
our return with great joy, and those who on our de-
parture for exile had bought furniture and other articles,
now brought them back to us and offered them as
presents.
At Salonica I had been sent to the primary school, and
I found later on that it was a great advantage to me to
have learned Turkish as a child. On our return to Valona
'

I continued my study of this language, and was also taught


Italian by a refugee from that country. Apart from these
studies, I received a purely Albanian education, under the
guidance of my father and mother, especially the latter,
who was very anxious that I should become a perfect
Albanian. My father, who had received a European educa-
tion, which for his time was an extraordinary thing, could
read and write Turkish, Italian, and Greek he understood
;

French, and was well versed in the literatures of the Wes-


tern nations, with which he had frequent relations. He
sought, from my earliest years, to inculcate in me a taste
for European culture.
The chief elements in the education of a young Albanian
of the period were horse-riding, shooting, and hunting. At

1
Turkish is in no way similar to Albanian (which is an Aryan tongue),
and was at that time not known at all among the Albanians. Even Ali
Pasha could hardly speak Turkish, and his rescripts and orders were
written on small slips of paper in Greek, having simply a seal in Turkish
on which was his name, Ali.
i4 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
each of the four seasons I was sent to make a horseback
tour in the interior of the country, accompanied by my
two tutors and by young companions of my age, and with
a numerous suite. On these occasions I visited the various

villages and was the guest of the notables, and there were
all kinds of festivities, especially the performance of the

national dances, which formed a part of youthful educa-


tion. In the hunting season I frequently rode to hounds,
every man in comfortable circumstances in those days
keeping a pack of dogs. Hare-hunting was carried on,
especially with a view to exercise in horsemanship. Our
principal sport with the gun was shooting wild duck and
woodcock. Another sport was carried on in the month of
May, when we went up in the mountains to catch partridges
with nets. Behind the nets, in cages, were placed female
partridges, and these, when they called, attracted the male
birds, which were separated from the females when sitting.
My suite consisted of young men of the household service
and professional hunters. There were no paid upper ser-
vants. Young men from the families of the notables were
attached to the service of the chief family in the country
in an entirely honorary capacity as a part of their educa-
tion or apprenticeship. This practice enabled them to take

part in the events of the day, to learn manners and good


breeding, and to get an acquaintance with public affairs.
(Only grooms, coachmen, and cooks were paid and treated
as servants.) All these young men were dressed in the
national costume of rich embroidered cloth or velvet, and
armed with pistols and yataghans which they
in silver-gilt,
carried in embroidered leather belts. them pos-
Most of
sessed their own saddle horses, and the Beys at fetes and
on other occasions made gifts to them of arms and similar
objects. The female servitors of the household were also
young girls of the country, mostly peasants from the villages,
and never from the families of the notables. They re-
ceived no wages, but remained in the service of the family
INVASION BY THE GREEKS 15

until they married, their marriages being arranged and


organised by the Beys, who bore all the cost, and continued
later to interest themselves in the future of the couple. It is
a pity that'the so-called progress of our time has brought
about the disappearance of these interesting patriarchial
customs, which created real ties of attachment between
the nobility and the people of the country.
It was with the object of further enlarging my experience
and learning good national habits of life that my father
thought it useful to take me with him to Janina, where I
was presented to the Governor-General and the various
dignitaries and consuls. During this stay of ours at Janina,
war was declared against Russia. My father, in conse-
quence, received orders to go back and enrol men capable
of bearing arms against the Russians, and we returned
to Valona. More than 1,500 men were enrolled there,
but the known intention of the Greeks to invade
Thessaly and the Epirus compelled Turkey to keep
the Albanian recruits on the spot in view of such an
eventuality.
A while later the Greek Andartes, under the com-
little

mand Greek generals and officers, invaded Thessaly and


of
the Epirus. My father left at once with his troops from
Valona to join the Turkish commander and the High Com-
missioner, who was Fuad Effendi, ex-Minister
the celebrated
Fuad Pasha, Grand Vizier). The
for Foreign Affairs (later

Greeks, under the command of General Grivas, had fortified


themselves at Metzovo. Attacked by my father's troops,
they were beaten and driven out of the place, which had
seemed to be impregnable, and the whole country was
cleared and order restored. For this service, Fuad Pasha
awarded my father a sword of honour and honorary civil
rank. Later, as commander of the Albanian militia, he
was given the task of keeping order in the regions which
had been the scene of the trouble.
During the absence of my father, the government was
16 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
carried on by my uncle, Selim Pasha. During this time we
at Valona received two interesting visits —those of the
Archduke Maximilian, afterwards Emperor of Mexico, and
of the officers of the French fleet, en route for' the Crimea.
As I was now the only male child of the family, although
still quite young, my uncle always kept me with him, and

I was one of the party which made the official visit to the

Archduke on board the Austrian warship. He received us


in a splendidly appointed saloon, where he was waiting
with the captain and officers of the vessel and his suite, and
we were struck both with his charming manners and his
physical presence. He was a very handsome youth of
twenty years of age, with refined features, an exception to
the rest of the Hapsburg family, who are somewhat dis-
figured by their prominent lips. Next day the Archduke
returned our visit, accompanied by his large and brilliant
suite.
The the French fleet was the occasion of an epi-
visit of
sode that have never forgotten.
I Some Albanian raga-
" "
muffins, who had abstracted a few provisions which the
French sailors were carrying from the town, were caught
and publicly beaten by order of my uncle. Their cries and
groans so touched my childish heart that I ran to my
uncle, threw my arms around him, and implored him to
stop the bastinado. As a result of these two visits my
family had two interesting souvenirs a watch in enamel,

ornamented with his monogram in brilliants, given by the
Archduke and a souvenir of the French fleet which was
;

still more precious —


a medal that had just been struck in
memory of the Turkish sailors killed in the destruction oi
the Turkish Fleet by the Russian Fleet at Sinope, and

which bore this inscription " Europe, they died for
"
thee !

About this time, my maternal grandfather having died,


my mother went toJanina to be present at the family
mourning. I accompanied her, and a little later entered
A CALL TO THE CAPITAL 17

upon my studies there at the Zossimea Gymnasium. As


1

I was the first, and, at the time, the only Albanian

Mussulman pupil, I was the object of special consideration


not only at the hands of my school-fellows, butsalso from
the professors. I have the very kindest memories of my
teachers, and owe a deep debt of gratitude to the memory
of Omer Effendi and of Professor Tsima, who both came
each day to the house between their classes to give me
extra lessons, the one in Arabic and the other in French.
A thing that amused me in those days was the persistence
with which the good Greek priest, who came on the first of
every month, in accordance with the custom, to bless the
school and sprinkle it with holy water, always (a little

maliciously) presented the cross to me, although he knew


that I invariably withdrew.
Towards the end of the last scholastic year, when we were
about to undergo the final examinations, my father re-
turned to Janina from Constantinople, and told me of the
desire of my great-uncle, Ismail Pasha Plassa, who was
living in retirement in the capital, and who had no male
heir, and also of the express wish of Fuad Pasha, Minister
for Foreign Affairs, that I should go to Constantinople —
wishes that he made me comply with. The headmaster
and the other professors, out of pure kindness, put me at
once through the examinations, and awarded me the regular
diploma, with an extra certificate of good conduct. So I
left the Gymnasium, after having gone through my

"humanities" ancient Greek and Latin and possessing —
a knowledge of physical sciences and mathematics. I had
a special aptitude for mathematics, and had worked out
several themes which my professor greatly appreciated.

1 This famous school was the foundation of four Christian brothers


of this name, who, having made fortunes in Russia, decided not to marry,
but to devote the whole of their joint wealth to the establishment of the
school. It was one of the most brilliant Greek centres of education in
the country.
2
18 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
When I think over the years of my youth and my studies,
I am convinced that there exists some co-relation between
one's early surroundings and one's later destiny, though I
should berat pains to explain the law that governs the con-
nection. Who shall say whether one's surroundings shape
one's destiny, or whether, on the other hand, one's sur-
roundings are created by promise of the future destiny ?
My mind was fed at a very early age by the contemplation
of souvenirs of the greatness of France. The lamp which
lit up my cradle was fixed upon a statue of Napoleon the
Great ;
almost my first toys were drawings representing
the great deeds of Napoleon, and I think the first of the
childish questions which I put to my father was the mean-

ing of the globe that the great Emperor wore on his head.
The French consuls in Albania, men like Grasset, Bertrand,

and, later, Hecquard, French consul at Scutari, whose


studies on Upper Albania
'
were greatly appreciated, were
often guests at our house.
On the other hand, the English at that time occupied
Corfu, almost opposite the port of Valona. Officers from
the garrison there, and other tourists of distinction, who
often arrived in yachts, used to come to Valona for the
hunting and shooting which the country afforded, and
astonished every one by the nobility of their bearing and
their generosity. My father was in the habit of receiving
them and accompanying them on their hunting expeditions,
while also he often went to visit these distinguished strangers
at Corfu.
It seems to me that all these facts had a great deal to
do with laying the foundations in early life of my attach-
ment to France and Great Britain. Another fact that had
its effectupon mind, as it greatly struck me at the
my
time, was when I found on making the usual study of
ancient mythology, that the stories which my old Albanian
nurse, a Mussulman, had related to me were all literally
"
1
Histoire et Description de la Haute Albanie " (1864).
EARLY INFLUENCES 19

the Greek fables, such as the scene between Ulysses and


Achilles at the court of theKing of Scyros, the judgment
of Paris on Mount Scyros, and so on. I was exceptionally

fortunate in having as professors of the literature and


history of ancient Greece men who were among the most
distinguished of the time, who took the trouble not merely
to teach me the classical authors as lessons, but made me
live in this atmosphere of liberty of the ancient Greek
world.
y

CHAPTER II

1860-1867

Entry into political and diplomatic life Early career at Janina —

Under Midhat Pasha at Rustchuk Midhat Pasha, reformer

and administrator roumania a principality bulgarian —

risings European journey of Abd-ul-Aziz My marriage—
It was in the month of May, i860, that I left Janina for
Constantinople, via Thessaly and Salonica. I crossed
Thessaly on horseback, and went from Volo to Constantinople
by boat, staying a couple of days at Salonica, so that the
entire journey lasted ten days. On my arrival in the
capital, I found that events of a personal as well as a poli-
tical character had occurred to upset my plans. My great-
uncle, Ismail Pasha Plassa, was dead. The Grand Vizier,
Kebrisli Mehmed Pasha, had left for a tour of inspection
1

in European Turkey, and Fuad Pasha, the Minister for

Foreign Affairs, upon whose aid I was counting, was about


to start for Syria, where the great massacre of Christians
had just taken place in the province of Lebanon. The
highest posts in the Empire were therefore being directed
by subordinates. It was Aali Pasha who was in temporary
possession of the Grand Vizierate, while the temporary
Minister for Foreign Affairs was Safed Effendi, later Safed
Pasha.
1
A native of Cyprus. Made his military studies in Europe. After
being marshal and commander of different army corps, was ambassador
to London and later Grand Vizier.
20
RETURN TO JANINA 21

Mustapha Pasha, a former Grand Vizier, who was


1
Guiridli
also an Albanian and a relative of my mother's, took me
to live with»him and his sons. Fuad Pasha gave me a post
in the translations bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
where I continued my studies of law under Professor Emine
Effendi, a Prussian renegade and director of the library of
the Ministry.
Prince Kouza had just arrived at Constantinople to be
invested as hospodar of the twin principalities of Wallachia
and Moldavia, and to present his homage to the Sultan.
Special interest attached to his visit, because Prince Kouza,
a Roumanian by birth, was the first to be appointed prince
of the two principalities, each having hitherto had its own
hospodar. I was present at the official visit which the
Prince paid to Mustapha Pasha as a Minister without port-
folio. I noticed that the Prince addressed Mustapha Pasha
in pure and good Greek, a language which was well-known
at that time to all Roumanians of distinction.
About this time Napoleon III asked for the recall of
Ahmed Vefik Effendi, Turkish Ambassador in Paris (later
Pasha and Grand Vizier), who had displeased the Emperor
owing to his character and his attitude. Vely Pasha, son
of Mustapha Pasha, was, for the second time, appointed
Ambassador at Paris, being persona grata at the Court of
the Tuileries. I was given the post of attache to the Em-
bassy, but at the moment of the mission's departure I
received the sad news of the death of sister, and was my
obliged to leave at once for Janina. In consequence
of bereavement in the family,
this my mother strongly
opposed my leaving her again, and I had to remain at
Janina.
A week after my arrival there came the news of the death
1 Anative of Poyan, a small town in Central Albania, brother of one
of the companions of the famous Mehemet Ali of Egypt. Was Governor-
General of Crete during the long period this island was administered by
the Viceroy of Egypt. The Sultan Medjid, after his visit to the island,
invited him to Constantinople, and for some time he was Grand Vizier.
22 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
of the Sultan Abd-ul-Medjid, who was seriously ill when I left
the capital. The people received the news of the accession
of his successor, Abd-ul-Aziz, with joy and confidence.
They had< great hopes of the new Sovereign, who was only
thirty years of age,and was hardy and a sportsman. It
was expected that he would carry out important reforms,
especially in the army and navy. Abd-ul-Aziz was nine
years of age when his father the Sultan Mahmoud II died.
His brother, Abd-ul-Medjid, when he mounted the throne,
far from seeing in Aziz a rival, treated him with the greatest
affection, leaving him free to develop his aptitudes and to
satisfy his tastes. The young prince loved all sports —
wrestling, hunting, swimming, and yachting, in which he
excelled, and which doubtless helped to explain his passion
for seafaring interests in later life. He was the only one of
his race who became robust and strong with maturity. His
strength indeed was herculean, but chiefly in his arms.
One day when he was at Tchamlidja, above Scutari, nobody
was able to open the big door of the palace. Abd-ul-Aziz
took the huge key, and with a violent effort wrenched it

open between his fingers.


At Janina, Akif Pasha, the Governor-General, took me
into the service of his government as assistant director of
political affairs. Akif Pasha, head of one of the noblest
families of Upper Albania, was a true type of Albanian
gentleman, and at the same time possessed all the best
qualities of a statesman. Towards the end of the month
of September, 1862, the Governor-General decided to
undertake a trip through Albania. He asked me to accom-
pany him, and I was very pleased to have the opportunity
of revisiting my
native country again after eight years of
absence. we first went to Voshtina,
So, leaving Janina,
a small town which was the chief place in the district of
Pogohia, on the frontier line between the Greek and Albanian
elements. While we were there, Malik Pasha, grandson of
the famous Shanisha, sister of Ah Pasha of Janina, came
AMUSING INCIDENTS 23

to visit Akif Pasha and invite him to his house at Libo-


hovo, which was then a fortress, built in the time of his
grandmothfvr. We accordingly went there next day, and
left two days later for Argyrokastro.
Everything^was ready
for continuing this journey, which I somuch desired when,
without my knowing why, at sunset we started on the
return to Janina. It was not until we reached Janina that

I learned the reason for our return. While King Otto had
been on a tour of inspection, the army had revolted, his
palace at Athens had been sacked, and the king dethroned.
The Governor-General had been ordered to return to his
post, and to take the measures rendered necessary by this

extraordinary occurrence.
Akif Pasha's successors in the post of Governor-General
were Husny Pasha, a very clever policier, who was after-
wards Minister of Police at Constantinople Dervisch ;

Pasha, a soldier of much ability, who was afterwards trans-


ferred to Asia as Commander-in-Chief of the Fourth Army
Corps, and Kaiserli Ahmed Pasha, an admiral, who by an
extraordinary series of chances had risen from being a
simple sailor to the highest naval rank, although he pos-
sessed no instruction whatever. Kaiserli Ahmed Pasha's
manner of governing was primitive and simple in the ex-
"
treme. An act," which had passed through
official

several of the Government offices and bore a multiplicity


of references and signatures, often so irritated this bluff
sailor that he tore it up incontinently because it seemed to
"
be queer." One day a Greek priest was presented to
him with a paper concerning some property of his that was
to be the object of the Governor-General's decree, so that
his titles might be delivered to him. As the document had
passed through all the competent bureaux and bore their
various stamps, all this writing so annoyed the Pasha that
in a rage he tore the document in pieces and threw them to
the floor. The poor priest picked up the fragments, the
official of the bureau intervened to explain the affair, and
24 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
the fragments were pasted together again in a condition to
receive the Governor's authorisation.
Another amusing incident has remained in my memory.
The dragoman of the Russian consul one day pushed his

way into the Governor-General's office, in spite of the con-

signe, and the Pasha in a fury bade him in a rough and


insultingmanner to begone. The consul, indignant at this
treatment of his subordinate, asked me to go and see him
about the matter, and told me he did not want to make a
diplomatic question of it, since only a week before he had
asked for a decoration for his Excellency from his Govern-
ment. I went to the Governor-General, and asked him to
take steps to arrange the affair. This only renewed his
fury,and he told me to assure the consul that if the drago-
man came again he would break his other leg (the drago-
man being lame in one leg). Just as I was leaving the
apartment, however, the Pasha called me back, and said,
"
Arrange the matter yourself, and don't worry them with
my irritability." The consul accepted my explanations,
and the incident was closed. In spite of his blustering and
" "
somewhat impossible character, the Pasha was, never-
theless, possessed of a certain real humility and piety that
were remarkable. Every evening, before going to bed, he
prostrated himself, and in a loud voice implored the divine
"
aid for this poor Ahmed, who is so ignorant and incap-
able."
I remained in the service of these successive Governors-
General until 1864. About this time, at the wish of my
mother, who was anxious to see me settled, I married for
the first time. My wife was a young widow of Konitza,
but she died after the death of a daughter she had borne
me in the first year of our married life.

Though I was happy enough in my position, which for


my age was a very enviable one, through an intrigue started
against me by some persons in the entourage of the Governor-
General, I was forced to quit my post and Janina at the
THE ORACLE OF DODONA 25

same time. Itwas not without regret that I left Janina,


for the place had a double charm and interest for me. It
was the tow?| where I had made my studies, and it was also
a region wherein, at every step, I recognised vestiges of

that ancient pre-Hellenic, or Pelasgic, civilisation, which


the Albanian race had every right to claim as its own, and
which was the fount whence Hellenic civilisation had sprung.
Among the agreeable and interesting souvenirs I cherish of
this period, was a visit I made to a locality which afterwards

proved to be the famous sanctuary of Dodona. It was


known that thefirst oracle of antiquity, that of Dodona,

had been in this neighbourhood, though no one had been


able to fix the exact locality. During an excursion to the
property of a friend at the village of Melingouss, I was
shown some ruins of considerable importance, with sites
and points which reminded me of the descriptions of the
position of Dodona. The mountain of Tmarus dominating
the ruins, the secular oaks, and a well of very ancient con-
struction made me feel sure that we were actually in the
ruins of Dodona. Ten years after the French scientific

mission, which had gone to Janina, and declared that any


search for the site of Dodona in that region was chimerical,
I was at Valona with a friend of my childhood, Mr. Con-
stantin Karapanos, to whom I told my impressions about
the ruins. Karapanos, always enterprising, soon after-
wards started excavations, which brought to light the
sanctuary, and a quantity of archaeological treasure of ex-
ceptional value.
I now went to Larissa at the invitation of my uncle,
Ismail Rahmy Pasha, Governor-General of Thessaly, who
appointed me and treated me as a
chief of his cabinet,
member of his own This pleasant life, however,
family.
did not last long. Towards the autumn of the same year a
band of Greek brigands attacked the Turkish village of
Dibagly, on the frontier, burnt several houses, and made off
with some young Turkish girls. I accompanied the Pasha,
26 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
who left at once with a troop of cavalry for Pharsala, the
chief town which the village attacked was
of the district in
situated. Our expedition, however, was only> effectual in
forcing t^e release of the young captives, for the brigands
themselves took refuge in their own country. The material
damage caused was paid for out of the Imperial Treasury.
This incident had very disagreeable consequences, both in
the district and at Constantinople. Colonel Mehmed Ali
Bey, a Prussian renegade, later Marshal, and the second
delegate of Turkey at the Berlin Congress, came from the
capital on a special mission of inquiry, one of the results of
which was the revocation of my uncle, the Governor-General.
I passed the winter with him at his magnificent estate at
Trikkala, and in the spring of 1865 we left for Constantinople.
While we were at Volo waiting for the boat which was to
take us, the Duke of Connaught, who was on a voyage of
study, arrived on board the royal yacht escorted by three
warships. We
offered him horses and other things neces-
sary for the ascent of Mount Pelion, and for the visit to the
site ofthe nuptials of Peleus with Thetis, where the Golden
Apple thrown into the Olympian banquet was the cause
of the Trojan war. The next day was the fifteenth birth-
day of the young Prince, and the Pasha went on board to
offer congratulations, I accompanying him. The prince,
whose appearance and manners charmed us, was so timid,
however, that he left the whole of the conversation to his
tutor.
At Constantinople I resumed my work in the translations
bureau of the Sublime Porte. It was the first time I had
been in a big town in which cholera was raging for months
and making awful ravages. Before the epidemic was over-
come, the fatal cases amounted to more than 2,500 per day,
but suddenly it ceased with the great fire at Stamboul,
which in the course of twenty-four hours destroyed the
most important part of the capital.
I had the pleasure of receiving my father at Constan-
SERVICE UNDER MIDHAT PASHA 27

tinople, but my joy, alas ! did not last long, for my dear
father died there at the age of forty-four. His loss was a
very painful 'blow for me and the family. Fuad Pasha, who
was then Grand Vizier and Minister for War, hrvd always
manifested special kindness towards my father, and during
his illness he was very kind and attentive. After his
death he summoned me to him to console me, and promised
me any post I might choose.
was about to be appointed Secretary-General of the
I

Government of Janina when I received an offer from Midhat


Pasha, then Governor-General of the Danube Vilayet (the
Bulgaria of to-day), of a very desirable post at Rustchuk,
the chief town of the Vilayet. In the month of May, 1866,
I left Constantinople for the Danube to enter upon
my new
duties. Midhat Pasha was away when I arrived at Rust-
chuk. Events in Roumania had become more and more
complicated, and, as Governor-General of the country bor-
dering on Roumania, he had been told to take all the pre-
cautions which the circumstances required. He had
therefore undertaken a tour of inspection in the Lower
Danube country. On his return some ten days after my
arrival, he received me with special marks of kindness, and
his confidence in me increased daily. Besides the pleasure
I took in my official position, I also had the advantage of
being with my uncle, Mustafa Bey Vlora, who was deputy
to the Governor-General.
Two months previously Prince Kouza had been forced to
abdicate, and the princely lieutenancy (or Regency of three)
who governed the country with the National Ministry
had decided to choose as his successor a foreign prince.
Prince Charles of Hohenzollern (later the first King of
Roumania), in spite of the hesitation of King William, chief
of the house, had accepted the throne, and in the latter

part of the month of May entered Roumania, having crossed


Austria- Hungary under the name of Carol Ettinger. The
Porte protested, and asked the Conference which had met
28 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
in Paris on this subject for authority to occupy the princi-
palities militarily. A corps d'armee was concentrated at
Rustchuk under the command of the famous Sirdar Omer
Pasha (who had been Generalissimo of the Turkish Army
during the Crimean war). Roumania, on the other hand,
collected her armed forces, and the larger part of them were
massed at Giurgeovo, opposite Rustchuk. In spite of the
presence of the two armies almost facing each other, com-
munications between the two countries continued normal.
I went over to Giurgeovo to see the commander of the
Roumanian forces, Colonel Karalambi, who was one of the
three princely lieutenants before Prince Charles' arrival,
and who was of Albanian origin. During the conversation
at luncheon the colonel did not conceal from me his lack of
confidence in his troops ; he expected them to take to
flight at the first sign of battle. I repeated this opinion of
the Roumanian commander to Omer Pasha, who was in no
way surprised, as he had already had opportunities of
judging of the military value of the Roumanian troops
when he entered Bucharest in 1849.
The Paris Conference having refused the request of the
Porte,and Prince Jean Ghika, the Roumanian Minister for
War, having prepared the way for an entente with Aali
Pasha, the Turkish troops were withdrawn. Prince Charles,
being now recognised as Prince of Roumania, came to
Rustchuk in October, en route for Constantinople, and was
received with special honours by Midhat Pasha and the
civil and military authorities. He was entertained at
luncheon by Midhat Pasha, and the same day left for
Varna, where the Imperial yacht was waiting to take him
to the capital. Odian Effendi, political director of the
Vilayet, and I accompanied him to Varna.
Midhat Pasha, who had an absolute genius for adminis-
tration, had been ordered by the Sultan to apply as an
experiment the new organic law for the administration of
Turkey in the most important province, which was then
A MODEL VILAYET 29

the Danube Vilayet, containing the portion of Bulgaria


which is to-day situated to the north of the Balkan chain,
the Dobrud^a, Sofia, and Nish. In less than two years
he had succeeded in organising the country and in making
of it a prosperous and civilised province which enjoyed abso-
lute order and security. The
entire country was provided
with roads, the solidity of whose construction is still re-
markable to-day among the roads made later by Bulgaria
and Serbia. The Danube was joined to the Black Sea by
a railway from Rustchuk to Varna, built and run by an
English company. A special administration was set up for
the navigation of the Danube and boats built for the pur-
pose, to compete with the Austrian boats which had hitherto
had the monopoly of this service. Everywhere there were
hospitals, schools of arts and crafts, and other similar
institutions. The commerce and industry, as well as the
agriculture of the country, assumed remarkable develop-
ments on account of the financial support given by the
agricultural and industrial banks founded by the Govern-
ment. The civil, financial, and judicial administration
were established on solid bases owing to the participation
of the popular element, which was represented in every
branch, and by the working of a General Council, which
had the character and attributes of a real provincial diet.
In short, the Danube Vilayet was a model of administra-
tion, and the example was soon followed in all parts of the

Empire. But in them the success was not so great, since


every vilayet did not possess a Midhat Pasha.
A change of Ministry at Constantinople led to a slacken-
ing in the activities of Midhat Pasha. Fuad Pasha, Grand
Vizier, and promoter of these reforms, fell into disgrace, and
Mehmet Roushdy Pasha l
replaced him, having as his col-
1
A seif-made man. He was first a simple soldier and then corporal
in the Corps de Garde at Stenja, on the Bosphorus, near the Embassies,
where he learnt French. He translated the military code into Turkish.
This work brought him into evidence, and he was known as the Muterdjim
(or translator), a title he always kept.
3o ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
leagues Kebrisli Mehmet Pasha, as president of the Grand
Council, and Namik Pasha, Minister for War. There was
only Aali Pasha, who was retained in his post a^ Minister for
;

Foreign Affairs in the new administration, who was favour-


able to the person and the work of Midhat Pasha. All the
rest of the Ministers, animated by a spirit of opposition,
tried to discredit the work of their predecessors and to
check the spirit and the elan of Midhat Pasha. In spite of
this obstruction, the Governor-General continued his work.
Wishing to place before him a modest tribute of my admira-
tion, I, under the name of a supposed foreigner, published
in the press of Constantinople a long account of a journey

through the Vilayet in which was described all that had


been accomplished there during Midhat Pasha's administra-
tion. The account was so true and striking that it had a
great effect, and caused some consternation among the
adversaries of Midhat Pasha. When the Governor-General
read it, he was at first much perplexed as to who the author
could be, declaring that only himself and Fuad Pasha had
sufficient knowledge of what had taken place to be able to
write the account. His pleasure was great when he learned
that I was the author.
Odian Effendi, of whom I shall frequently have occasion
to speak, was sent on a mission to Constantinople to defend
the work of Midhat Pasha and to try to overcome the
difficulties created by the jealousy of the Ministers who were
rivals of Fuad Pasha. During his absence Midhat Pasha
placed me ad interim at the head of the department of
political affairs, so that I had then three functions the —
department my post as chief of a sec-
of political affairs,
tion of the correspondence bureau, and the management
and editing of the newspaper Le Danube. Midhat Pasha
had frequent cause for exasperation at the attitude of the
Ministry at Constantinople, and one evening at dinner,
when he was particularly angry on account of some measure
adopted by the Porte, he was telling us of former difficulties
BULGARIAN OUTRAGES 31

he had had with Kebrisli Pasha, then Grand Vizier, when he


was on a mission in Bulgaria. During the conversation, a
telegram an\ved from Odian Effendi announcing the fall
of the Ministry and the accession of Aali Pasha as Grand

Vizier, with Fuad Pasha as Minister for Foreign Affairs.


He was so delighted with the news, that he summoned the
military band, and the rest of the evening was passed as a
fete to celebrate the event.
The Cretan insurrection, and the change in the political
status of Roumania, had encouraged the leaders of the Bul-
garian committees, whose headquarters were at Bucharest,
Jassi, Galatz, Braila, and other Roumanian towns. The
moral and material support given by the Pan-Slavic Society
of Moscow, and the facilities given by Jean Bratiano, Minis-
ter of Roumania, were a sort of pledge of success for the

Bulgarian revolutionary bands, who were waiting for a


propitious opportunity to enter Bulgaria. One morning
Midhat Pasha called me to give me the news he had just
received from Zistovo. The previous day a Bulgarian band
had murdered four little Turkish children in the neigh-
bourhood of that town, and, having almost hacked the
bodies to pieces, had stuck branches of bushes in the
wounds. Midhat Pasha saw at once the gravity and
the motive of this horrible crime, which was to exasperate
the Mussulman element and provoke reprisals. Without loss
of time he embarked on one of the stationnaires for Zistovo,

taking with him four companies of infantry, and from there


went on to Tirnovo, where the band was surrounded and
caught. After the preliminary judicial inquiry as to the
culpability of the chief of theband and those of his acolytes
who had been taken alive, the Governor-General returned
to Rustchuk, where the public trial took place. I visited

each of the consuls specially to invite them to be present


at the trial, andwere present except the representative
all

of Russia. The
verdict given, the execution followed at
once, as Midhat Pasha possessed such ample powers that
32 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
he did not require the Sovereign's sanction for the capital
execution.
A little while later another unfortunate incident of the
same character took place. A certain Swetko, a Serbian
revolutionary, and Voivodo Nicola, a Bulgarian, arrived
before Rustchuk on board the Austrian boat Germania, en
" "
route for Serbia, with the intention of crossing the hedge
(a hedge was the indication of the Turko-Serbian frontier),
in order to foment an uprising in Bulgaria. The police
officials, who demanded their passports while they were at

table, were attacked with revolver shots. The other pas-


sengers fled from the boat in a panic, and the two men
barricaded themselves in the cabin. M. Martini, the
Austrian consul-general, was invited to be present at the
arrest of the aggressors. He hesitated, but finally yielded
before Midhat Pasha's threat that if revolutionaries were

permitted to take passage and shelter on Austrian ships,


he might have to refuse permission to Austrian ships to
touch at ports in the Empire. Martini and I went on board
the vessel together, where the gendarmes, after a furious
exchange of revolver shots with the revolutionaries, forced
the cabin door, and the two men were seized, one being
already dead and the other seriously wounded.
Then came the visit of the Serbian prince. Count Beust,
Chancellor of the Austrian Empire, having established the
dualism of the Danubian Monarchy, had used all his efforts
to obtain from Turkey the retrocession of the fortress of

Belgrade to the Prince of Serbia. He hoped by this means


to put Serbia under an obligation, while at the same time
removing a cause of anxiety for Turkey. The Sublime
Porte consented to the arrangement on condition that the
Turkish flag should float beside the Serbian national colours,
and that the Prince of Serbia should be commander of the
place as representative of the Sultan. Prince Michel
Obrenovitch came to Rustchuk accompanied by Alerisa
Pasha, governor and commander of the garrison of Bel-
ABD-UL-AZIZ IN EUROPE 33

grade, en route for Constantinople, where he was to receive


the Imperial Firman from the hands of the Sultan himself.
A railway Occident having taken place on his journey be-
tween Rustchuk and Varna, his Highness preferred to
return by way went there to receive him
of Constanza. I

on behalf of the Governor-General, and accompanied him


as far as Giurgeovo. During the journey I had frequent
opportunities of chatting with the Prince, and found him a
man of simple but unattractive character, reserved, dreamy,
and melancholy. One fact struck me very much. Every
time the Prince wanted to drink, the domestic waiting on
him had to taste the beverage before he would touch it.
A little while later the man who was afraid of poison in his

drink was the victim of the daggers of the conspirators of


Topchoudere.
An event of exceptional importance and solemnity for
the history of Turkey took place in this summer of 1867.
The Sultan Abd-ul-Aziz undertook, on the occasion of the
Universal Exhibition of Paris, to make a trip to Europe
and visit the capitals of the Western Powers. It was the
first time an Ottoman Sultan had left his dominions and
confided the destinies of his Empire for a more or less
lengthy period to his Grand Vizier. The Sultan, accom-
panied by his first and second heirs-presumptive, Murad
Effendi and Hamid Effendi ;
his eldest son, Izzeddin Effendi ;

the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Fuad Pasha, and a


splendid
suite, embarked at Constantinople on board the Sultanieh
for Toulon, escorted by a fleet of ironclads of imposing

proportions for this period. After visiting Paris, London,


Brussels, and Cologne, the Sultan left for Vienna, whence he
was to descend the Danube as far as Rustchuk. We left
with Midhat Pasha for Buda-Pesth to meet his Majesty, and
the Governor-General was also accompanied by notables
who represented the four races of the population of the

Vilayet Turkish Mussulmans, Bulgarian Christians, Ar-
menian Christians, and Jews. On arrival at Buda-Pesth,

3
34 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
Midhat Pasha received a telegram from the Turkish Ambas-
sador at Vienna instructing him, on behalf of Fuad Pasha,
to await the Sultan at the frontier. Midha/1 Pasha was
surprised at receiving this instruction, which he interpreted
as disapproval of his having come to Buda-Pesth and an
invitation to return to the frontier. He sent me at once
to Vienna to have an explanation verbally with Fuad
Pasha. On my arrival in the Austrian capital I at once
went to Fuad Pasha, who made the matter clear by telling
me that the telegram had been sent in ignorance of the
fact that Midhat Pasha had already arrived at Buda-
Pesth. He me to telegraph back at once telling him
told
to remain there and await the Sultan. During my stay I
had also to settle with Fuad Pasha a still more important
and delicate matter. The Sultan had decided to continue
his journey from Rustchuk to Constantinople across the
Balkans and via Adrianople. As there were no railways
in this part of the country, Midhat Pasha considered that
the journey would be accompanied by extreme inconveni-
ence and annoyance for his Majesty, and he wanted me to
get the Minister and the First Secretary and First Cham-
berlain of the Sultan to prevail upon the Monarch to change
his plans. As Abd-ul-Aziz, however, had absolutely made
up his mind upon this itinerary, Fuad Pasha and the two
palace functionaries told me it was useless to try to make
him change his plans.
At Buda-Pesth, on the evening of his arrival, the Sultan
received Midhat Pasha and his suite on board the vessel
which had brought him. His Majesty's reception was quite
affectionate, and he told Midhat Pasha in our presence that
he had no decoration to give him as a recompense to mark
his services unless he created a special order for him. The
Sultan passed the night on board, and the next morning
we took up positions on the landing-stage, facing the mag-
nates and other Hungarian official personages, and there
received and acclaimed the Sultan, who passed between
1

THE SULTAN AT BUDA-PESTH 35


\

us. The Master of Ceremonies had instructed us to salute


the Sultan in the military fashion without bowing low
before him'Vccording to Turkish etiquette. The enthusiasm
of the Hungarians was extraordinary, and the Sultan, amid
uninterrupted cheering, drove through the town and
visited the public buildings. One of these was the tourbe
(or mausoleum) of Gul Baba, a Mussulman saint who had
died and been buried there at the time of the Turkish
domination. By a delicate little attention arranged by
the people of Buda, the mausoleum was covered with roses,
"
as the name of the saint translated means Rosy Baba,"
while His Majesty was presented with a silver vase contain-
ing earth from the tomb, on which was engraven this in-
scription in Turkish, which I had been asked to write,
"
The city of Buda offers to the Sultan earth from the
tomb of Gul Baba." At the Royal Palace at Buda a
banquet took place, in which over 800 magnates in won-
derfully picturesque uniforms took part. After lunch, Mid-
hat Pasha presented his suite to the Sultan, who received
us in private audience, addressing a few cordial words to
each of us in turn, and asking us to see him again at Rust-
chuk. An amusing touch was given to this reception by
the fact that as we entered the audience chamber, the
aide-de-camp, an Albanian, remembering the recommenda-
tion to salute in the military way given earlier in the
day, when Europeans were present, whispered to us,
"
"Now you can bow as low as you please The same day
!

the Imperial party left again by the Danube on four


boats.
The cold and almost disrespectful attitude of the Serbian
Prince and authorities, who did not even come to pay their

respects to His Majesty, contrasted very forcibly with the


warmth of the Hungarian reception, for he was greeted with
cordiality and even fervour all along the Danube. Curi-
ously enough, too, just as if nature wished to imitate this
sulkiness, as soon as he had arrived before the fortress of
36 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
/

Belgrade, a violent tempest broke loose. The captain of


the Imperial boat, as the hour was also late, wished to
anchor and spend the night, but the Sultan would not
hear of jt, and we went on in the night and the storm. On
our arrival at Turnuseverin, the first Roumanian stopping-
place, a deputation representing the Prince and Govern-
ment came to pay their respects to the Sultan, while Prince
Charles himself went to Rustchuk to meet his Sovereign.
At Vidin, where the Sultan went on shore to see the town,
I the siationnaire in order to be ahead of the
took
party,and arrived at Rustchuk well in advance, where I
imparted to Aali Pasha, the Grand Vizier, who had arrived
the evening before with Mehmed Roushdy Pasha, Minister
forWar, the instructions which had been given me, among
other things to tell the Grand Vizier and the local authorities
that the Sultan was determined on making the journey
across the Balkans.
The population of the country received the Sultan with
extraordinary enthusiasm, which was all the more marked
as he was returning from a journey that none of his prede-
cessors had ever undertaken. The next day, Prince Charles
was received in solemn audience by the Monarch, and after
him all the officialpersonages, the consular corps, and
representatives of the population of the Vilayet, without
distinction of race or religion, who presented their homage
of fidelity and devotion. During this stay of the Sultan's
at Rustchuk, the Ministers showed such satisfaction with
the administrative work that had been accomplished by
Midhat Pasha, that they left him free to approach His
Majesty and place various suggestions before him without
Ministerial intervention, which was a great mark of con-
fidence and approval. The Sultan was treated as if he were
a distinguished guest and Midhat Pasha the host. On the
day of the Sultan's arrival, the Chief Eunuch of the Sultana
mother arrived with a letter for His Majesty from Her
Highness expressing her ardent desire to have him back in
\ THE SULTAN'S IMPRESSIONS 37

Constantinople as quickly as possible ; so the plans which


the Sultan n\d made for the rest of his journey were upset,
and he left Kustchuk for the capital via Varna, arriving
home the following day, whereas the journey he Md medi-
tated would have taken about a month.
The Sultan spoke continually of the great pleasure he
had had in his journey to Europe. His reception in Paris
had been of a most cordial and flattering character, and
he had especially been fascinated by the charm of the
"
Empress Eugenie. The only "fly in the ointment of
the Paris visit had been Napoleon Ill's utterances on the
Cretan question. With his visit to England the Monarch
was even more pleased. In the first place he was the only
one among the Sovereigns who had visited the Paris Ex-
hibition whom the Queen had invited to England. He
had been received by Queen Victoria on the royal yacht
off Osborne, and as if it were done expressly to please him,

knowing his passion for sea-faring, the scene had been a


most impressive one, with a tempest blowing and the cannon
roaring, as Her Majesty invested him with the Order of
the Garter. As there was no ribbon on board, the ribbon
of the Prince of Hesse had been used, and later, when it
was suggested that this ribbon should be changed, Abd-
ul-Aziz refused, declaring that he would never wear any
ribbon except that with which Her Majesty with her own
hands had decorated him. Another thing that had greatly
impressed him had been the might and splendour of the
Prussian Army, a review of which was held in his honour
on the banks of the Rhine, and the flattering reception
given him by King William I. The Sultan learned a good
deal during this European visit. On his return he showed
a desire to change a great many things in the Empire, and
a period of more intense modernity seemed to be promising,
such as the undertaking of public works, etCo But, un-
fortunately, events of which I shall speak later spoiled all
these good intentions.
f

38 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY J

In the spring of 1867 we received Sir Henry, Elliot at


Rustchuk. Appointed Ambassador for her/ Britannic
Majesty at Constantinople in succession to Lord Lyons, he
was en ro&te to take up his post at the capital. A cordial
interview took place between the Ambassador and Midhat
Pasha in the waiting-room of the station, and I was sent
by the Pasha accompany him, in my capacity as political
to
Sir Henry and Lady Elliot were
director, as far as Varna.
both very charming to me, and our relations continued for
many years.
After the Sultan's departure from Rustchuk I was
married to my second wife, by whom I have had the
happiness to have four daughters and six sons. My wife
was born a Mile. Surmely, the daughter of a Greek gentle-
man of Adrianople, who had been settled for a long time
at Rustchuk. At first the difference of religion constituted
an obstacle to my union with the young lady with whom
I had fallen in love, and it was strongly opposed by her

stepmother. However, it was arranged with my fiancee,


and with the connivance of my future father-in-law, that
I should abduct her, and this one evening I did. Our houses

were close together, and as soon as I had got the young


lady installed in my own house, in spite of the resolute
opposition of my future mother-in-law, I summoned the
witnesses for both sides, one of whom for the fiancee was
the Belgian consul, and the marriage contract was drawn
up and signed before them. This contract was worded in
such a legal form from the Mussulman point of view, and in
such formal conditions, that every possibility of a second
marriage on the part of the husband was for ever removed.
My marriage, in spite of the fuss it caused, brought me
many kindly marks of sympathy from my friends. Midhat
Pasha was the first to congratulate me. Sir Robert Yell,
the British consul, who was always a good friend of mine,
at first curiously enough made a difficulty about accepting
the situation, because I had entered the house of my father-
THE CONSEIL D'ETAT 39

in-law with put permission in order to accomplish the ab-


duction, burfinally he accepted the fait accompli, and even
gave a dinner to celebrate the occasion.
Everything that took place in this part of the«ountry,
which was such an important portion of the Empire, tended
to enhance the prestige and glory of Midhat Pasha every
;

event was a kind of check to Russian politics, which greatly


irritated General Ignatieff, then Ambassador at Constan-

tinople. The Russian press, and especially the Pan-


Slavist portion of it, carried on a campaign of hostility

against the person and the administration of Midhat Pasha.


On our side the newspaper Le Danube, of which I was
editor, defended our cause with much energy and with con-

vincing argument. But in the end the underhand intrigues


that were being carried on and a number of acts of a more
open character annoyed Midhat Pasha to such an extent
that he came to the conclusion that his continued stay in
the place was no longer without danger to himself. As a
matter of fact, a Serb came to Rustchuk under the pretence
of being converted to Islam, and tried to obtain a post
in the personal service of the Governor-General, his real
intention being to get near to Midhat Pasha and assas-
sinate him. The suspicions we entertained regarding this
man were confirmed by a letter that was intercepted, which
confessed his criminal intentions and recommended his
family to the protection of the Prince of Serbia. Midhat
Pasha, not wishing to have the man tried at Rustchuk, sent
him to Constantinople with his dossier.
A little later Midhat Pasha asked for, and obtained per-
mission to go to the capital on leave. While he was there,
the Sublime Porte decided on the formation of the Conseil
d'Etat, which had been recommended by M. Bourree, the
French Ambassador, and Midhat Pasha accepted the
presidency of this body. After the arrival of the new
Governor-General of the Danube, Sabri Pasha, I also went
to Constantinople, and as Midhat Pasha wished to have me
'
40 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
with him as maitre de requites of the first class in the Conseil
d'Etat, I accepted the post. Going back to Ry'stchuk to
fetch my wife and my mother, I returned to Constantinople
in company with Sir Robert Yell, who was leaving on a

holiday.
CHAPTER III

i 867- i 87 i


Midhat Pasha and my relations with him Visit of the Prince and

Princess of Wales Governorship of Varna and Tultcha —

Visit of the Emperor Francis Joseph The European Com-
— —
mission of the Danube Troubles with Roumania The Franco-

Prussian War and its consequences in the East The Treaty
— —
of Paris German aims and Russian intrigues Aali Pasha.

Midhat Pasha plunged into his work on the Conseil d'Etat


with the same energy and intelligence that he showed in
everj^thing he undertook, and in a few months he had suc-
ceeded in getting a number of laws of great importance
promulgated, such as the law on public instruction, which
made primary education gratuitous and obligatory, the
law on naturalisation, that on judicial organisation, and
others relating to the civil and judicial administration.
During the time he was President of this important body
he made but two absences, one after a serious illness with
anthrax, when he went to Broussa for his convalescence,
and the second time to go to the Danube Vilayet and
repress the Bulgarian revolt which had broken out for the
second time. During these absences Fuad Pasha, Minister
for Foreign Affairs, took his place as interim President of
the Conseil d'Etat. As I was the rapporteur of several of
the proposed laws that I have mentioned, notably that
concerning naturalisation, which was the occasion for an
exchange of diplomatic Notes with the Powers, especially
with France, M. Bourree, the French Ambassador and
promoter of the Conseil d'Etat, showed great kindness
41
42 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY /

towards me and urged Aali Pasha to promote rie to the


position of Conseilleuy d'Etat I

At this time Greece, in spite of the capture of the corsair


Arcadie an$ the blockade of the Greek ports by the Ottoman
fleetunder the command of the English Admiral Hobart
Pasha, was continuing openly to foment insurrection in
Crete. The Sublime Porte decided therefore to break off

diplomatic relations with Greece, and handed the repre-


sentative at Constantinople his passport. A commission
was formed at the Ministry of Police to examine the Greek
subjects and proteges and make them leave the capital.
I was appointed to this commission by Aali Pasha, to super-
vise the selection of the Greeks whom it was thought

necessary to banish. I came frequently into personal


contact with Aali Pasha at this time, and he gave me
my instructions direct.
Fuad Pasha succumbed to heart disease at Nice, whither
he had gone to spend the winter, and his death was the
cause of changes in the Ministry. Aali Pasha, Grand
Vizier, took the post of Minister for Foreign Affairs, and
entrusted the Ministry of the Interior, which had always
been attached to the Grand Vizierate, to Shirvani Roushdy
Pasha, the presidency of the Council of State falling to
Kiamil Pasha. The French Government sent the body of
Fuad Pasha back to Constantinople on a warship, and his
funeral took place with extraordinary pomp, the whole of
the Diplomatic Corps being present, for the first time on
such an occasion.
Midhat Pasha was appointed Governor-General of Meso-
potamia, his jurisdiction extending over the provinces of
Bagdad, Bassorah, and Moussoul, and the command of
the Sixth Army Corps. My intimate relations with him
pointed tomy accompanying him to this new post, and
my appointment as secretary general of the Vilayet of
Bagdad had been decided on when Aali Pasha, through
the new President of the Council, expressed his desire that
\ BRITISH ROYAL VISIT 43
i

I should regain in the capital and take up other political


functions.
The Prince and Princess of Wales came to Constantinople
in 1869 to return the visit which the Sultan Abd-ul-Aziz
had paid to Queen Victoria a year or so before. I was
present at the famous ball given at the British Embassy
at Pera, which the Sultan graced with his presence. It
was only the second time that a Sultan of Turkey had set
foot in a foreign Embassy, the first occasion having been
when Abd-ul-Medjid also went to the British Embassy
to receive the Order of the Garter from Lord Radcliffe
Canning in the name of the Queen. More than a thousand
persons accepted the invitation of Sir Henry and Lady
Elliot to this ball, and the scene was really magnificent
when Abd-ul-Aziz made his entry into the ballroom with
the Princess of Wales on his arm, the band playing the
Imperial Hymn followed by the British National Anthem.
The quadrille was opened immediately afterwards, the first
figure being formed of the Prince with Lady Elliot, Sir
Henry Elliot with the Princess, M. Bourree with Mme.
Ignatieff and Count Ignatieff with the wife of the British
,

Ambassador at Petrograd, who had come with the Am-


bassador specially for the visit of their Royal Highnesses.
During the quadrille the Sultan stood in front of the seat
under a dais which had been placed for him, with chairs
for the Prince and Princess on either side. I remember that
the two beauties of this memorable evening were Madame
Outre, a Levantine, wife of the first dragoman of the French
Embassy, and Mile. Savalan, a young Armenian lady of
rare and classical beauty, with whom the Prince seemed to
be very much taken up, as he danced with her nearly all
the evening. The Princess, who also struck me by her
beauty that evening, danced a good deal with the Spanish
charge d'affaires. The Sultan left after supper at midnight,
being escorted by the Princess to the head of the staircase
and by the Prince and Sir Henry to his carriage. The
44 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
Royal couple remained until sunrise, and immediately
after their departure the other guests also left.
Aali Pasha wanted me to enter into the diplomatic service,
and had destined me for the Athens Legation, when the
approaching visit of the
Emperor of Austria-Hungary to
Constantinople, via the Danube and Varna, necessitated
a change in the governorship of this town. The Minister
of the Interior summoned me, told me of the Grand Vizier's
intentions, and asked me to take the post of Governor of
Varna. I accepted at once with pleasure, only stipulating
that should not be given civil rank with the title of Pasha.
I

I was young, and the title of Pasha seemed to me to be


cumbersome. My official appointment was published the
same week, and a day or two later I went to Varna to enter
upon my new duties. M. Bourree, who was always inter-
ested in my v/elfare, sent for me and inquired if this nomina-
tion suited me, and was pleased when I assured him in
the affirmative. At Varna I had the good luck to have
as chief Akif Pasha, Governor-General of the Danube,
who had known me as a student at Janina, and had taken
me into his service when he was governor-general of that

vilayet. He showed me such kindness all the time I was


serving with him, either at Varna or at Tultcha, and was
always so ready to accept everything I did or suggested,
that at last one day it irritated me, and I said to him,
"
Excellence, it is very kind of you to praise my work so,
but really I should sometimes prefer a little criticism, so
that I might really know when I am doing well."
The day of was marked by a rather disagree-
my arrival
able incident. A stockof gunpowder was being carried
from the magazine under the port to another building .

situated higher up in the fortress. During the transporta-


were placed on the route to prevent passers-by
tion sentinels
from approaching with lighted cigarettes. Sir Robert Yell,
the British consul at Rustchuk, and Mr. Mayers, his col-
league at Varna, had just left me and were returning to
\
AUSTRIAN EMPEROR'S VISIT 45
t

the gentleman's house, smoking cigarettes, when a


lattei\
sentinel recognised them, and did not succeed
who had not
in making them understand what he wished, carried out
his orders to the letter and handled them with* somewhat

soldierly roughness. two friends immediately came back


My
to me in great indignation with their complaint. I sent

for the commander of the garrison, and told him in their


presence that the soldier who had laid his hand on the
English consuls must be punished. The officer was be-
ginning to justify the act of the sentinel, but, before he had
time to explain, I told him the word of two British consuls,
and of Sir Robert Yell especially, must not be doubted.
Without further ado the commander agreed to punish the
soldier, and the two consuls left satisfied. On their return
to the Consulate, Sir Robert sent me an official note ex-

pressing their satisfaction, and begging that the intended


punishment of the soldier should not be carried out.
In view of the Emperor Francis Joseph's visit to Con-
stantinople, before proceeding to Egypt for the inauguration
of the Suez Canal, Abd-ul-Kerim, Commander of the Second

Army Corps, came to Varna with two divisions to render


military honours to His Apostolic Majesty. Most of our
time was taken up with preparations for the official reception.
Before the Emperor's arrival an Austrian fleet, under the
command of Admiral Tegethoff, the hero of Lissa, arrived
in Varna Bay. I had many a chat with this distinguished

sailor, who made one feel his strength underneath


his simple

bonhomie. The Grand Vizier, Aali Pasha, accompanied


by Sirdar Omer Pasha and Baron Prokesh, internuncio of
Austria, came to Varna and left at once for Rustchuk to
meet the Emperor. Two days later the Emperor arrived
at Varna about five o'clock in the evening, and we received
him at the station. After the official presentations and a
cordial conversation with Admiral Tegethoff, to whom he

gave his hand as he stepped from the saloon carriage, the


Emperor started on his drive through the town for the
46 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
i

landing-stage, having on his left the Grand Vj^ier and in


front of him Omer Pasha. In my
capacity of governor
of the town, I rode on horseback on the right of the carriage,

Muzaffer, Bey, the Sultan's aide-de-camp, riding


: on the left.

The Emperor embarked immediately on board the Sul-


tanieh, the Sultan's yacht. On board the Grand Vizier
presented me to Count Beust, the Chancellor, and to Count
Andrassy, President of the Council of Ministers of Hungary.
Aali Pasha made me draw up a telegram for the palace
at Constantinople announcing the arrival of the Emperor
for the next day, and I left the boat. The whole town
and the walls of the fortress on the sea front
were illuminated,
and the infantry and artillery continued firing salutes
until the departure of the yacht with the Turkish and Aus-
trian squadrons.
The Emperor's visit being over and the Imperial troops
gone, I set myself seriously to the work of carrying out the
functions of governor of the most important portion of
Bulgaria. The first question to which I attached great
importance was the construction of the Port of Varna,
the need for which made itself felt from every point of view.
The Provincial Diet was about to assemble at Rustchuk,
the chief town of the vilayet, and my project for the port was
presented in proper form to the Diet by myself as governor
and the deputies of the Sanjak, and was accepted. After
that I went to the capital to get the project sanctioned. The

Government had recognised that the cost of the Rustchuk-


Varna Railway would entail an expenditure of £2,000,000,
for which sum it had engaged itself by the earlier convention.
Interest at 7 percent, was paid, amounting to a yearly sum
of £140,000. The way in which the matter was discussed
before the Public Works section of the Conseil d'Etat was
so erratic that I took it direct to the Grand Vizier and gave
him my views as to the advantages that would accrue to
the Government. I pointed out that the construction of

the port, apart from the revenue accruing to itself, would


^
CHANGE OF POST 47

bring traffic and consequently revenue to the line which


would never come so long as there was no port, simply at
the expense of doubling the amount paid in interest in two
years, the cost of the port being £300,000. /*ali Pasha,

realising the importance of the project and appreciating


the manner in which I was handling it, asked me to draw
up a report. I did this the same evening, going to him in
company with the Minister of the Interior, Roushdy Pasha,
and thereupon the Grand Vizier accepted my proposal
and submitted it direct to the Sultan without passing
it through the Conseil d'Etat or the Council of Ministers.
Armed with the order from the Sultan entrusting me with
this mission, I returned to Varna and got into touch with
the maritime construction companies.
M. de Radowitz, who was appointed German consul-
general and diplomatic agent at Bucharest, came from
Constantinople, where he had presented his credentials
and obtained his exequatur, en route for his post, but as
the snow had interrupted the communications between
Varna and Rustchuk, he had to spend four or five days at
Varna. We exchanged visits on this occasion, and our
personal relations dated from this time.
A few weeks later I happened to be at Shoumla with the
Governor-General, Akif Pasha, at the invitation of the
Commander of the Second Army Corps, Abd-ul-Kerim
Pasha. While I was at headquarters there a telegram
from the Grand Vizier reached Akif Pasha announcing
my appointment as Governor of the Lower Danube Province
and President of the European Commission of the Danube,
in place of Suleyman Pasha, deceased, and requesting also
that a successor to the post of Varna should be indicated.
Akif Pasha, supported by the Marshal, believing that my
departure from Varna would mean the failure of the im-
portant scheme for the port, urged that I should be retained
at Varna, and proposed Colonel Nizami Bey, then consul-
general at Budapesth, for the vacant post in the Lower
48 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
Danube. But the Grand Vizier insisted upim his first
decision, though he agreed that should not leave Varna
I

until the question of the port had been settled. I handed


the reirfc of government to my successor, Hazam Pasha,
and continued negotiations with the different companies
which had made tenders. The Strousberg Company (of
Berlin), having made the most acceptable tender, I went
to Bucharest, accompanied by the chief engineer of the

vilayet, and signed the convention with Strousberg's repre-


sentative. During my stay at Bucharest I had an audience
with Prince Charles, and also had occasion to present my
respects to the Princess (Carmen Sylva). She was not
receiving official visits on account of her interesting con-
dition, but having only recently come to the East, and
learning that a Turkish Governor was at Bucharest, she was
eager to receive me and satisfy her curiosity. She wel-
comed me in a charming manner, reclining on a couch.
Two years later, when I was again at Bucharest, the Princess
again received me very kindly, and presented her little
daughter, Princess Marie, who was just beginning to walk.
The physiognomy of Prince Charles was not unknown to
me. In physique and character he was equally mild and
agreeable,and did not give one reason to expect the results
which his long reign produced for the good of his beautiful
country. The contrast between the pair, both intellectually
and was striking. The Princess, of commanding
physically,
stature, and with an extraordinarily prominent forehead
and piercing eyes, made a great impression on the visitor.
You thought of some Sappho or Corinne of the Black
Forest rather than a Queen of a people as calm and yellow
as the Danube which bathes their country.
On my return to Rustchuk, I waited for the thaw of
the Danube, and, taking the first boat leaving for the Lower
Danube, went to Tultcha, chief town of the Lower Danube
(or Dobrudja), where I arrived in
March 1870. In April
I went to Galatz, the headquarters of the European Com-
1

DANUBE COMMISSION 49

mission of the Danube, 1 and took possession of the Presi-


dency of this Commission in my capacity of Turkish delegate,

my colleagues being Colonel (later General) John Stokes,


for Great Britain Baron D'Avril, for France Baron de
; ;

Radowitz, Germany Baron Off enberg, Russia a representa-


; ;

tive for Austria and M. Berio for Italy. I was very happy
;

in the carrying out of these functions, since it meant my


contributing in a work of civilisation, which, among other
benefits, had been made possible by the Crimean War,
for the good of international navigation and the development
of this fine country ; furthermore, I had as colleagues and
collaborators the distinguished representatives of the various
countries whom I have named, with whom relations my
were always of the best. From the first my official and
personal relations with Colonel Stokes were most cordial,
while with Baron D'Avril I was at once on terms of real
camaraderie. After the session the latter and I made a
tour together of the district over which I had jurisdiction,
and each time we were together at the sittings of the Com-
mission these journeys were repeated.
During the whole time of my stay on the Lower Danube
I interested myself very actively in the work which we were
carrying out under the skilful direction of Sir Charles
Hartley, chief engineer of the Commission, and all the
resources of the local government over which I presided
were at the disposal of Sir Charles and the technical section.
Sir Charles, who was a great authority on works of the kind,

1 As long as Turkey had been in possession of the Danube, she had


assured liberty of navigation. But after Russia, by the Treaty of
Bucharest of 1812, had acquired the left bank as far as Kilia ; by the
Treaty of Ackerman (1826), the arm of Sulina; and by the Treaty of
Adrianople, the St. George's mouth, the mouths of the river had been
neglected and rendered impossible for navigation. Article 15 of the
Treaty of Paris declared the navigation of the Danube and its mouths
free and by the terms of Article 16, a commission of seven delegates,
;

one for each State, was appointed to indicate and to carry out the neces-
sary work in order to render the Danube navigable from Issatchacka to
the mouths
50 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
was always ready to lend his invaluable help in tfhe different
public works which I undertook at Tultcha and other parts.
I remember one occasion when I had projected the building

of a quay at Tultcha, a piece of work which it had been

pointed out to me could only be carried on during the month


of September, when the water was low, and therefore must
be done very quickly. I sent for engineers and contractors,
who came and pointed out the difficulties of the undertaking,
and magnified them not a little. Sir Charles Hartley came
and viewed the site, made a rough sketch on the spot,
said the task was an easy and simple one, and indicated
how it should be done and, as a matter of fact, everything
;

having been got in readiness beforehand, the whole work


was completed in the space of twenty-two days.
The Danube Commission had established as a principle
that no taxes should be charged for rights of wharfage or
anchorage in the portion of the river from Braila to Sulina,
at the mouth. In spite of this the Roumanian Government
insisted upon collecting taxes, and ordered that they should
be paid by the Idarei-Nehrie, or the river service belonging
to the government of the vilayet. I happened to be at

Rustchuk when the Governor-General learned that the


Government of Prince Charles had sequestered at Braila
allthe schleeps, or barges, belonging to this official service
against the taxes which had long been demanded, but never
paid. As our
protests against this high-handed proceeding
had no Akif Pasha decided to resort to force to deliver
effect,
the sequestered barges. The two companies of Albanian
gendarmerie which had been organised in the time of Midhat
Pasha were embarked on board the Vidin, a dispatch boat,
and two armoured monitors of the Danube flotilla, and under
the command Rear Admiral Dilaver Pasha, the chief
of
I accompanied them as
of the river service, left for Braila.
far as Galatz on board the Midhat Pasha. Acting on the
instructions given him, Dilaver Pasha, accompanied by
my secretary for the business of the Commission, went
FRANCO-GERMAN WAR 51

and anchored before Braila and demanded the immediate


release of the schleeps, threatening to use
sequestered
force in case of refusal. A
panic seized the population at
Braila, and troops and artillery were concentrated on the
quay. In face, however, of the admiral's insistent threats
to fire, the opposition ceased, and the prefect of Braila, with
the captain of the port, came on board the boat to inform
the admiral that the Prince's Government was ready to
give satisfaction by releasing the schleeps. We received
this news about midnight at Colonel Stokes's, where we
had met to wait, not without anxiety, for the issue of the
affair.

Sir Robert Yell came to visit me at Tultcha, and a few

days after his arrival we went to Sulina. During our


stay there the Grand Duchess Michael came from the west
to embark on board her yacht for Poti in order to meet
the Grand Duke, viceroy of the Caucasus, at Tiflis. By
order of the Grand Vizier I went on board the Imperial
yacht to present the official compliments and wish her
" "
Highness in the name of the Sultan.
bon voyage When
she had gone, we made an excursion to the island (or delta)
of Leti, where we lunched under the centenarian trees of
the forest of Pevki, which in ancient times gave its name
to the island, which was the place of refuge of the King
of Tribal when he was beaten and pursued by Alexander
the Great before his Asian expedition. We also visited
the mouths of the Kilia arm of the Danube and the towns
of Vilkoff, Kilia, and Ismail.

Just as we were in the full tide of a special activity both


in connection with the organisation of the administration
of the country and the execution of works of public utility,
in concert with the Commission, and aided by Sir Charles
Hartley, there came with the suddenness of a thunderbolt
on a serene day of summer (on July 17th, 1870), the news
of France's declaration of war against Germany. All
our activities stopped as with one accord, and the attention
52 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
of everybody was centred on this terrible war, wkich seemed
as if it were going to set the East also on fire, especially
the Danubian provinces.
The papulation of the East feared, and indeed were almost
convinced, that Prussia had arranged in advance a coalition
with Russia, by virtue of which, if Prussia were left a free
hand with France, Russia would be permitted to obtain
by means of war the ascendancy over Turkey which she
had so far sought to get by diplomatic methods. A very
lively sympathy with France was manifested by the Turkish
people, which was natural enough. It was in a way an

expression of gratitude towards France for the unforgettable


services she had, together with Great Britain, rendered in
the Crimean War in defending the integrity of the Empire
and upholding its independence against Russia. All hoped

(and openly expressed the wish) for the victory of the French
Army few doubts indeed were felt in the beginning as
;

to its success. The only man in the East who was con-
vinced of the superiority of the Prussian Army and of its
ultimate success was Abd-ul-Aziz himself. This was
probably partly due to the impressions which, as I said
in the last chapter, he brought back with him regarding

Napoleon III., and, on the other hand, the strength of the


Prussian Army.
The entire population round us, eager to have news as
quickly as possible, spent considerable sums in subscriptions
to a telegraphic agency, which brought us almost from
minute to minute telegrams from the seat of war, which
we in turn transmitted to the Commission and to other
centres connected by the international telegraph. August
15th was the fete day of the Emperor, and I went to the
French consulate to pay an official visit in the name of
1
the Government and to express their hopes to M. Langlais,
the French Consul at Tultcha, for a happy issue of the war.
1
The son of M. Langlais, Conseilleur d'Etat, who was attached as
councillor to the Emperor Maximilian in Mexico.
TREATY OF PARIS DENOUNCED 53

At the same time, the population made a spontaneous


demonstration of sympathy before the consulate. We had
hoped the fete would have raised the morale of the Imperial
troops, and that events would turn out more auspiciously
for the French Army but the news of the disaster of
;

Sedan, which came two weeks later, was a terrible blow


that left no further hope of success for the French. The
brave M. Langlais felt that he could not remain at Tultcha
any longer, and returned to France to serve his country
as a simple soldier.
The Ottoman Government had taken all necessary military
precautions, and had concentrated troops on the right bank
of the Danube. Roumania, although her Prince was a
Hohenzollern, assured the Suzerain Court that she would
march on the side of Turkey and the Western Powers
should Russia attack Turkey. These assurances were
repeated to the Emperor of the French, and M. Mavrogheny
was sent on a special mission to London to arrive at an
understanding with the Cabinet
of St. James's. A
Roumanian Army of 30,000 men
(which for this period
was a not inconsiderable body) was ready for all eventu-
alities.

The population of the Danubian provinces learned with


no alarm that on the day of the capitulation of Metz
little

Russia had denounced the treaty of Paris providing for the


neutralisation of the Black Sea. This was regarded as
a prelude to the nullification of all political engagements
relative to the East. An attack from Russia was expected
at any moment, and as the Danubian provinces were the
most exposed, they expected to receive the first shock.
This fear in Turkey of aggression on the part of Russia
found an echo in the emotion and indignation caused by
the news throughout Great Britain and Austria. The day
afterour reception of this news, Colonel Stokes, accompanied
by Sir Charles Hartley, came from Sulina, where they had
been for several days, to meet me at Tultcha and discuss
54 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
the instructions they had received on the matter from the
British Government.
A few days after the denunciation of the Treaty of Paris,
I received orders from the Grand Vizier to go to Constanti-
nople and report to him as to conditions in the province,
and discuss with the Sublime Porte the measures to be taken
for the defence of the country, and for the preservation
of those rights which the Commission of the Danube had

acquired by this very Treaty of Paris. At Constantinople


I found the political atmosphere much more serene than I

had anticipated. Prince Gortschakow, the Russian Chan-


cellor, had certainly shown remarkable haste in denouncing
the Treaty of Paris without waiting for the end of the
war ;
but Bismarck had been equally quick and prompt
to allay the excitement in Great Britain and Austria.
He had proposed that Europe, or the signatories of
the Treaty of Paris, should meet in conference in order
to settle the question raised by Russia. This was a
sort of guarantee that peace would not be broken in the
East.
Aali Pasha had been the first to comprehend the possible
consequences of the defeat of France. After Sedan he had
appealed to the British Cabinet and to other European
Courts to intervene in favour of France and he was greatly
;

dissatisfied with the British Ministry, which not only took


no notice of the appeal, but with folded arms contemplated
the defeat and dismemberment of France. On Russia's
denunciation of the Treaty of Paris, Aali Pasha again asked,
in a simple and frank manner, whether the British Cabinet
had decided to take the measures necessary to oppose
Russian aggression. He knew what a British Government,
with Gladstone at its head, was capable of doing. When
he received a reply emphatically in the negative, he decided
to accept the facts as they stood and the fate reserved for
Turkey.
The public at Constantinople, as all over the Empire,
A MERITED SNUB 55

were fully aware of the misfortunes which the French disaster


might bring for the future of Turkey. There were only
a few rare exceptions among some of the public functionaries,
who, having lost their former influence through* the new
direction which the administration of the Empire had taken,
on the recommendations of France and Great Britain, dared
to have contrary opinions. I was among the guests at

a dinner at Shirvany Roushdy Pasha, the Minister's, when,


after listening to some music which had followed the meal,
the conversation turned on the effects of the war. Mah-
moud JellaladinBey, Under Secretary of State, gave vent
to remarks of a very unflattering nature concerning France,
and added that he was sorry M. Bourree had left just when
he might have had the pleasure of witnessing his discomfiture
at the French defeat. These remarks were aimed indirectly
at me, as he knew I had had very friendly relations with
the ex-Ambassador of France. I put him in his place with
the cutting remark,
"
One can hardly blame a man because he is incapable
of forming a judgment as to the future, but your delight
over the French defeat is unpardonable when it is obvious
that the actual effect of this is the disappearance of one
of the greatest guarantees for the security of the Empire
of which we are all the servants."
All the others present agreed with me.
The object of my
journey to Constantinople was to come
to an understanding as to the measures that would have to
be taken in the Dobrudja in the case of war. I placed a
report before Aali Pasha pointing out the importance
the country would have in such case, and trying to destroy
the prejudice that had always existed regarding this region
of the Lower Danube. Before the Crimean War, this
country, which was sparsely populated and contained
numbers of marshes and lagoons, would have been a very
difficult one for the concentration of troops, and even danger-
ous ;
but the country having now become more thickly
56 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
populated and more healthy, it had all the advantages
required for the concentration of a large army. Its resources
had been developed to such an extent that all the necessary
provision^ and fodder could be supplied. I went so far,
indeed, as to advocate the massing of armed forces in this
country, which had such an advanced position, now that
Austria, no longer hostile to Turkey, or merely neutral,
as she had been in the former wars with Russia, but on
the contrary friendly, would, owing to her position with
regard to the Carpathians, be a great menace to Russian
troops having to pass through the narrow passage between
the Carpathians and the Danube to get into Bulgaria.
My view, guided by reason and my knowledge of the
country, was that all the forces should be concentrated
in the Dobrudja and at Vidin, with a view to the

occupation of the bridge of Barboch on the Pruth, and


of Kalafat in front of Vidin. My report, which was
highly appreciated by His Highness, was referred to the
Minister for War to be made the subject of a serious
study.
Having received such instructions as the political situation
required,and having obtained as a safeguard the reinforce-
ment of the flotilla of the Lower Danube by the addition
of several naval units, I left Constantinople to return to

my post at Tultcha. There we waited, not without anxiety,


for the end of the war and the decision of the Conference
of London.
I had also profited by my stay in the capital to obtain

approval for several of my schemes of administrative reform


in the country. The chief of these was the organisation
of public instruction in the Dobrudja, where nothing had

yet been done, in spite of the promulgation of the law


on public education some three years previously. As
ever since Midhat Pasha's administration of the Danube
Vilayet, the Central Government had left to the local
authorities the power of raising pecuniary resources outside
AALI PASHA 57

of the general revenues of the Treasury, and appropriating


them to improvements in the country, the rights of pasturage
in the islands of the Danube and other void territory, as well
as taxes imposed on the different classes of inns, Mshich were
all kept by Jews, gave us funds sufficient —
added to
the contributions made voluntarily by the peasants to

build and support primary schools in the towns and villages,
secondary schools in the chief place of each district, and a
grammar school (lycee) at Tultcha, the capital of the Sanjak.
Another immediate source of revenue for this purpose was
the overplus of the revenues of the Vakouf of Ghazi Ahmed
Pasha, devoted by Firman to works of philanthropy at
Babadagh, where the first secondary school of the region
existed. I was very pleased at getting sanction for all

this work. But Aali Pasha, while congratulating me on


the results obtained, made a remark in a highly sarcastic
"
manner which greatly annoyed me at the time. What
will become of all these people when they have received
their instruction in the condition in which the country is
"
at present? he asked. "Will they all become lawyers
"
and idlers as in Greece ?
This remark, which as a matter of fact was quite just,
was a severe blow for me, young as I was and full of enthusi-
asm for liberty and the progress of the people. But in
order not to appear to oppose the opinions of the only man
who was, so to say, the incarnation of the Empire, I included
in the programme practical and useful instruction for the

agricultural class,and this pleased and satisfied the Grand


Vizier. Nevertheless, I left him with the feeling that I
had as chief a despot and a man of retrograde views. Time
and experience have made me appreciate the perspicacity
and the broad-minded vision of this great Turkish States-
man, who, in spite of some little failings, really helped the
country on the road of gradual progress. Aali Pasha, who
was the son of a keeper of one of the gates of the city wall,
was brought up among the humblest class of the people,
58 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
and, familiar from his childhood with their feelings and their
mentality, he was better able than any other to realise
what the Turkish people had need of. It was really a
miracle how this man, by his own unaided efforts, was able
to form his mind and acquire instruction (with degrees
such as the rarely given bachelor of letters), and still more
remarkable how he became a perfect gentleman, and even
a grand seigneur.
After the three months' sanguinary struggle between the
French and German armies, and after an academical dis-
cussion among the representatives of the Powers in London,
Bismarck succeeded in imposing his onerous conditions
of peace on France, and in making dislocated Europe accept
Russia's arbitrary act with the mere reservation of this
principle, drawn up at the Conference of London that in
:

future treaties could only be modified with the common


consent of all the signatories. It was the first time that
Europe had in such an abject form submitted to seeing a
treaty summarily declared invalid when its beneficiary
was a weak nation.
The double news of the conclusion of peace and the
decision of the London Conference was received by us in
the East with natural satisfaction. Public confidence
being re-established, conditions once again became normal.
One of the competitors to world domination being set aside,
the European equilibrium had now changed, and the three
great Powers, Germany, Great Britain, and Russia, had
entered on a new phase of their history. The formation
of the German Empire had completely altered the political
face of the world, and the Powers found themselves obliged
to establish a fresh equilibrium on which their respective
interests should be based.

Germany, which had obtained a kind of hegemony in


Europe, now had as her aim to consolidate her work and
prepare for her future world-policy. Bismarck never lost
time in overweening contemplation of his successes or in
RUSSIAN INTRIGUE 59

resting on his laurels. The greater his achievements,


the more he was inclined
to take precautions not only to

safeguard them, but to prepare for future advances and


triumphs. He had now two —
primary preoccupations first,
to assure the isolation of France and prevent her from having
a Government capable of inspiring confidence in the other
Powers, and thus obtaining for herself allies against Ger-
many ; secondly, to consolidate the good relations of

Germany with the other Powers. Feeling that Germany


had been all too long in leading-strings to Russia, he now
sought to reverse the roles and deprive Russia of a free hand
in the Orient.
As to Prince Gortschakow, the Russian Chancellor and
rival of Bismarck, filled as he was with pride and satisfaction
at having with his own hands wrested from Europe a dip-
lomatic victory the importance of which for his country
was incontestable, this statesman considered that the
moment had now arrived to strengthen Russian influence
at Constantinople by showing amiability towards the Turks.
Already M. Stahl, the Russian Charge d'Affaires at Con-
stantinople, asked by Aali Pasha when he presented Gort-
schakow' s Note whether it was war that he was bringing,
had replied that, on the contrary, he was bringing peace,
an enduring peace. General Ignatieff, on his return to
Constantinople a few days after this interview, tried his
utmost to gain the confidence of the Sublime Porte by
persuading Aali Pasha and the other Turkish statesmen
that Russia was in reality Turkey's only sincere friend,
and that the Western Powers were only using her for
their own ends. The Sultan, he said, would never get
anything from Germany, whose policy was perfidious
and selfish, nor from Austria, whose sole desire was to
wrest from her Bosnia and Herzegovina. As to France,
she could only be useful to Turkey if, after recovering
from her reverse, she ranged herself on the side of
Russia.
60 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
These were in harmony with the general mot
fine speeches
from St. Petersburg.
d'ordre received The Russian diplo-
mats and consuls had been instructed to show themselves
amiable a>nd obliging towards the Turkish functionaries
and local authorities, and to avoid anything that might
annoy or irritate the Porte or its representatives in the
different parts of the Empire. As we knew what were
the grounds and motives for these protestations of
friendship, we were able to estimate them at their real
value.
I had the misfortune to have as Russian Consul at Tultcha

a certain M. Bellotcherkovitz. This gentleman, who had


not been long in his post, from the very day of his arrival
showed himself extremely eager to enter into friendly
relations with me personally and with the local authorities
in general. He even told me of the precise instructions
he had received from his Government on this subject, and
he never relaxed his efforts to be obliging and amiable
towards me, until his attentions became positively em-
barrassing. He seized upon the flimsiest pretexts to come
almost every day and offer me his services. For instance,
on one occasion the Bulgarian community organised a
fete, and Bellotcherkovitz came to inform me of it and
invite me to be present. His desire to be agreeable even
led him draw extensively upon his imagination for op-
to

portunities. One day he came to read me a report which he


had drawn up for his Embassy at Constantinople in which
he told his chief that as he had learned that the Sublime
Porte was thinking of transferring me to another post,
he begged him to intercede with the object of keeping mc
at Tultcha. This interference, which I believed at the time
arose purely from his inordinate desire to be agreeable to
me, was in reality very disagreeable, as I had no desire
that my hierarchical superiors should think that I was
appealing to foreigners to try and keep me in a post. I
reported the matter to the Ministry, and the reply I received
A CONSULAR INVENTION 61

showed me that my supposition was not only justified,


but that the consul's discovery was a pure invention.
This Russian honeymoon, however, did not last long. It
1
stopped, as I shall relate a little later, with the death of
Aali Pasha.
CHAPTER IV

1871— 1873
" —
Chinese " Gordon and my friendship with him Measures of
reform in the danube province liberating the circassian
— —
slaves Administrative work The treatment of the Jews —
— —
Death of Aali Pasha Mahmoud Nedim Pasha His chaotic
— —
Grand Viziership The Sultan's conduct Russian intrigues—

Inquiry into my administration Midhat Pasha as Grand

Vizier Bismarck's missions to the East.

With the restoration of political tranquillity in Turkey,


we returned to our administrative activities. In the month
of April, 1871, took place the first plenary sitting since the
war of the Danube Commission. M. de Radowitz, the
delegate of the new German Empire, and Baron D'Avril,
representing the French Republic, took part for the first
time in the deliberations. A little while after this Colonel
Stokes was replaced by Colonel Charles Gordon Baron
;

Offenberg by M. Zinovieff, while Baron Schlechta was ap-


pointed Austro-Hungarian delegate. Before leaving his
post Colonel Stokes wanted to be present at the manoeuvres
of the Second Army Corps at Shoumla. Sir Charles Hartley
came from Sulina, and we went to Varna together, where
we were the guests of the Archbishop Joachim (later the
Patriarch of Constantinople). Colonel Stokes joined us
on from Constantinople, and together we went
his return
to Shoumla, where we spent three days and nights under
canvas watching the army manoeuvres. On our return,
we passed by Rustchuk to visit the Governor-General,
62
"CHINESE" GORDON 63

Omer Fevzy Pasha, formerly the President of the Com-


mission and Stokes's colleague.

"
The famous Colonel Gordon or Chinese Gordon," as
he was called, had come to Galatz to replace Stbkes with
a great reputation gained by the striking manner in which
as Generalissimo of the Son of Heaven he terminated the
revolt of the Taipings. We expected to find in him the
typical military man and martinet. Instead of that, we
found Gordon a little man than forty years of age,
of less
with fresh, rosy skin, fair hair, eyes as bright and pure
as a child's, a timid voice, and an almost femininely soft
look. His affable manners, his simple and cordial char-
acter charmed us all. I have never met a character more

loyal or more disinterested or less pretentious. He reminded


me of one of those splendid figures of Pagan antiquity,
like Cincinnatus, while he was endowed with a Mussulman's
depth of faith of the early epoch. At the sittings of the
Conference, as also outside it, he showed such modesty
and desire to oblige that his predecessor was a little annoyed,
but when Stokes ventured to make a remark to him about
this before me, Gordon replied very simply that he would be

ready to carry water on his back if he found it necessary.


His delicacy and kindness of heart made him pay such
touching attentions to Baron d'Avril and to M. Langlais,
that these two representatives of France, after the defeat,
far from finding themselves isolated, or treated with in-
difference, felt that they were surrounded by an atmosphere
and sympathy.
of respect
Gordon and I very soon became fast friends. The
English delegate to the Commission, being one of the exe-
cutive committee, had a fixed residence at Galatz but ;

Gordon, who despised money, luxury, and all other outward


signs of human vanity, and was a sincere advocate of the
simple life, preferred to stay near me at Tultcha. He took
a house there with a large garden, where he installed himself
in the most simple manner, his only extravagance being
64 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
in the number of his domestics, whom he chose among
people whose language he did not understand, which he
claimed was the only way to avoid their squabbles and
backstairs gossip.He asked my permission to make maps
of the Dobrudja, which I accorded with great pleasure.
He spent days in walking over the country with a perfect
battery of implements on his back.
Dr. Johnson once said that the grandson of a man who
had seen the Great Wall of China might still be proud of
the fact What vanity, then, may not be felt by the
!

grandson of a man who, instead of having seen the Great


Wall, lived for more than two years in absolute intimacy
"
and cordial fellowship with " Chinese Gordon, one of
those men whom the centuries produce with less and less

frequency !

I cannot help feeling a certain pride at having lived at


a critical period of history in close touch with men whose
work, had it not been for an adverse fate, might have

preserved the East and perhaps the world from such

calamities as we have witnessed. But the most
flattering
and the most comforting of all my recollections is the sincere
friendship with which Gordon honoured me and now,
;

half a century later, the impression caused by his personality


is ineffaceable.

During my stay at Tultcha we passed almost every evening


together, either at his house or mine. For some time
he had with him an American, named Lang, whom he called
"
his Admiral," because he had been the commander of
his river fleet in China. Lang amused us by his mania
for making rings with his cigarette smoke, through the
middle of which he would poke his cigarette. My uncle
" kar-
was Gordon's "pet child." He always called him
"
dash (Turkish for brother), because they were fellow Free-
masons, and took a pleasure in giving him gin. But our
greatest delight in those days was in listening to Gordon's
accounts of all he had done and experienced in the Crimea,
GORDON'S REMINISCENCES 65

Armenia, and China. His ideas were simple, and he did


not seem to have many. His faith was as stable as that
of a Mussulman, though his morality was Christian. He
believed himself to be at once the toy and the instrument
of Providence, and though in some ways he was a child,
on the other hand, in many things he was as authoritative
and as inflexible as Providence itself. His taste for forlorn
hopes and his passion for the unexpected would have made
him accept any mission and carry it to fulfilment despite
all obstacles. The East and its splendours fascinated him.
He was haunted by a desire to put himself at the head of
an independent Turkish or British Army and penetrate
into the heart of Russia in a war against that country.

Everything he possessed he gave to his sister, his friends,


and the poor. Indeed, he gave away everything he had,
even to his decorations, keeping only the titles for himself.
He made me a present of his yellow silk Mandarin's robe
which the Son of Heaven gave him when he refused to
accept a large sum of money for his services.
Gordon told me he had been greatly shocked by the
incapacity of his chiefs in the Crimea, and this judgment
did not spare even the commander-in-chief, Lord Raglan,
who once made the mistake of confusing his own army
with that of the enemy. He gave me a striking picture
of the havoc and ruin wrought by the Allied armies in China,

who, after putting to the sword the forty eunuchs who


guarded the Summer Palace, spent three days and nights
in pillaging it, and afterwards set fire to it. The only thing
he took himself was the throne, which he presented to the
Royal Society of Engineers. It all showed, he used to say,
that, after all, our boasted civilisation is but a superficial
veneer. There were few things of which Gordon had such
a horror as of politics and diplomacy, which he considered
to be responsible for a large proportion of the ills of

humanity. Strange and infinitely sad, that in the end he,


too, was a victim of politics and diplomacy !

5
66 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
An event happened about this time which might have
had the result of spoiling our friendship, but which really
showed the sincerity of Gordon's character. I was at
Rustchuk, and was the guest of Sir Robert Yell, when we
received information by telegraph that a young Turk had
abducted a girl of British nationality (a Maltese) at Kus-
tendje. I left at once by special boat for Tchernovoda,
arrived there in the night, and took a special train for
Kustendje. The inquiry which the British Consul in the
place and I made together, showed the incident in its proper
light

a simple love affair. As the girl and her lover were
at Tultcha, I had an exchange of views on the matter by

telegraph with Colonel Gordon, who, misunderstanding the


apparently sad sight he had witnessed when the girl was
confronted with her parents, who had followed her, ex-
pressed his indignation to me in strong terms, and demanded
that the girl should be immediately handed over to him.
It was impossible for me in the circumstances to explain
to him the real meaning of the scene he had witnessed,
but in order to convince him as to the truth of the matter,
I made an exception to the general rule governing affairs
of the kind. The who was
in love with the young
girl,

Turk, thinking she could only become united to him by


being converted to Islam, went to Tultcha for this purpose.
When confronted with her parents, thinking she was going
to be returned to them, she started shrieking, and the
colonel took this for her fear of being forced by the autho-
rities —a misunderstanding of the situation that had been
encouraged by M. Bellotcherkovitz. I therefore told
Gordon I was ready to give the girl up to him on condition
that on my arrival at Tultcha, he returned her to the
authorities. My orders to this effect having been carried
out, Gordon very soon grasped the truth of the situation,
but he was obliged all the same to take the girl to his house.
The next day I arrived at Tultcha with the Consul from
Kustendje, and Gordon came to see me immediately with
GORDON'S KINDNESS 67

his opinion entirely changed. He excused himself, and said


"
he was ready to settle the matter in the regular way. It
is the first have meddled with political affairs," he
time I
" and be the last."
it will
said,
As a marriage between a Mussulman and a Christian is
perfectly legal in the form of a civil marriage, a contract
was drawn up at Gordon's house and was signed by the
two contracting parties, countersigned by the Kadi and
myself as witnesses for the husband, and by Colonel Gordon
and the Consul, Colonel Sankey, for the wife. Gordon
placed part of his house at the disposal of the couple for
two days, and was very generous to them in the matter of
presents. By such and other means he likewise did all
he could to pacify the girl's parents. This incident, and
the way in which it was settled, was reported by Gordon
to the Embassy, who thanked me through the Sublime
Porte. Though others tried to use it as a means of creating
a misunderstanding between us, the incident, in reality,

helped us to know each other better.


A curious event of a different order occurred about this
time. The Governor-General, Akif Pasha, invited me with
the other governors of the Sanjak which formed the vilayet,
to the festivities on the occasion of the circumcision of his
two sons. While we were on this visit, the Governor of
Vidin, Aziz Pasha, got himself invited by the Bulgarian
community to congratulate them on the occasion of the
promulgation of the Imperial firman on the Bulgarian
Exarchate. In the speech he made on this occasion, Aziz
Pasha, talking of his own origin (he was a Bosnian), boasted
of being descended from Michel Kobilovitch, the assassin
of Sultan Murad I. after the victory of Kossovo. This
extraordinary speech was reported in Constantinople, and
Aali Pasha, the Grand Vizier, asked by telegraph for the
immediate return of Aziz to the capital. He was divested
of his office, and never got another one so long as Aali Pasha
lived.
68 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
All the various governmental functions again started
operations after the war, and numerous projects in the
administrative and economical domains were taken up with
a view to their realisation. The chief of these projects
were :

(i) The liberation of the Circassian slaves;

(2) The installation on the shore opposite Braila of the

Jews persecuted in Roumania and


;

(3)The establishment in different regions of the Dobrudja


of German colonists.
The population of the Sanjak of Tultcha consists for the
most part of immigrants of different races, either Mussulman
or Christian, who came originally from the Russian countries
that had belonged in past times to Turkey. Among them were
more than 20,000 Circassians, of whom 5,000 were considered
to be slaves. The departure of Midhat Pasha from the
vilayet had already made itself felt by a slackening in
the administration, which, as I have said, was in his time
a model administration. I had noticed the change from
my early days at Varna, but at Tultcha I came face to face
with facts that revolted me and that I had to set to work
to remedy at all costs. In the first place, there was this
question of the slavery of the Circassians. Then there
was the persistent robbery of cattle, the most precious
possession of the rural population of Turkey, by these
same Circassians.
The Circassians are a race of extraordinary vivacity and
energy. Wherever they settle they make themselves felt
and exercise a marked influence, which, owing to their lack
of education, is often prejudicial to the other inhabitants.

The Circassian thinks that when he is in trouble others


owe it to him him out of it, whether they want to
to help
or not. When
such a need presents itself, the Circassian
who is in search of help, either alone or with friends, goes
to another of his race in easy circumstances and announces
that he has come as his guest to enjoy his generosity and
THE CIRCASSIANS 69

help. Without any prevarication, negotiations are opened


up with a view to fixing the number of animals to be handed
over or the sum to be paid, and the visitors depart with
the animals, arms, or money agreed upon. When* however,
the person owning the coveted property is not a Circassian
and does not understand these simple and accommodating
habits, the needy one has to get what he wants by means
of robbery. Robberies of this nature had taken place so
extensively in the parts of the country where the Circassians
were established, that the indigenous population were in
danger of not being able to continue the cultivation of their
lands. To combat this evil, it was necessary to have recourse
to measures that took account of their characters and would
be speedily efficacious. I deemed it best to appeal to the
Circassians through their amour-propre, which was stronger
with them than with the Bulgarians or the Turks of these
regions.
I therefore invited all the chiefs and the elders of all
the villages to come and meet me at Babadagh, the centre
of the country where they were settled. I then told them

that if the Sultan and Caliph had received them in his


Empire, and the old subjects of his Majesty had taken
them to their hearts as brothers, giving them land and
all that was necessary for their settlement, they did not

expect the recipients of such kindnesses to act as they had


been doing. I left it to themselves to judge the gravity
of their acts and to enter into an undertaking to stop their
evil deeds in the space of twenty days. If they did not do

so, they would be expelled from the country which had given
them such hospitality. This declaration impressed the
Circassians, and they drew up and signed on the spot a
promise to desist from their evil acts, which we soon found
that they faithfully kept. The robberies ceased as if by
enchantment, and the least disposition to stealing shown
by individuals was forestalled by the chiefs of the villages,
who informed the local authorities of the slightest evil-doing.
70 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
With regard to the other evil — —
slavery which we had
to remedy, the Circassians had for long been accustomed
to possess slave families, and they demanded the main-
tenance of this right after their immigration into the Turkish
Empire. The Sublime Porte recognised the right, but
prohibited the sale of slaves, a restriction which in practice
it was difficult to control, for two reasons —
first, because,
the slaves being sold privately, the transaction could not
be detected ;
and secondly, since the prohibition of the
exportation of this human merchandise from the Caucasus,
the Palace sent men to the country where the Circassians
were settled to choose young girls, who travelled to Con-
stantinople in the ordinary way.
As soon as I arrived at Tultcha I took it upon myself
to improve the lot of these people gradually, and worked
for their eventual complete liberation. But the matter was
not so easy, for the reasons which I have named, and also
on account of the relations which the Circassian chiefs
had in the Palace. On the other hand, the protection
which the local authorities extended to the slaves, followed
by the prohibition to sell and transport these girls to Con-
stantinople, encouraged the slaves in their desire for libera-
tion, and made them more and more disobedient to their
masters.
In order to arrive at a working basis, I called together
the deputy governors, and instructed them to draw up
lists of the exact number of slaves in their respective districts.

This operation was carried on in order everywhere except


at Babadagh, the district where there were most Circassians.
Here the deputy governor, instead of asking the masters
for the lists of their slaves, called masters and slaves together,
and, addressing the latter in a very tactless manner, told
them they were slaves, and must implicitly obey the orders
of their masters. This so angered the slaves that they
attacked the masters, something like a riot ensued, and in
a very short while there were two camps in the place, the
PERSECUTION OF THE JEWS 71

slaves having barricaded themselves in a disused barracks,


while the masters fortified themselves in another building.
Summoned to the scene by telegraph, I succeeded, after some
difficulty, in inducing the slaves to go home and i>e patient
until we had accomplished our task of liberating them.
Wefinally succeeded in freeing all the slave families,
and in indemnifying their masters. The price of adult
males was fixed at 2,000 piastres (£20 each) that of females
;

at 1,500 piastres (£15) ;


and that of minors at 500 piastres
(£5). The money thus spent, as well as the sums disbursed
in the settlement of the liberated people, in the purchase of
cattle, agricultural implements, etc., was advanced by
the agricultural banks, to which the liberated slaves be-
came indebted in the same way as other cultivators and
agricultural proprietors.
The Jews in Roumania were condemned to the same fate
as those in Russia. They had not the right to settle as
proprietors or cultivators of the soil, or even to establish
themselves in rural communes, and were not allowed to
exercise the trades they would have chosen but, compelled
;

to live by ignoble and dishonourable means, they were


subjected to the worst persecution. Since 1866 these
persecutions had been so frequent and so cruel that the
conscience of the civilised world was at last aroused. We,
who were the nearest witnesses of these persecutions, could
not be indifferent to the sufferings of these unfortunate
creatures it was a duty of our common humanity to help
;

them.
It is an infamy and a crime to insult and to persecute
an entire population merely because of their birth and race.
The very reasons put forward by the Russian and Roumanian
Governments to justify their policy sufficed to establish
their responsibility. The Jew in Roumania or Russia
isdegraded, not by his race nor his blood nor his creed,
but by the very laws of the country he lives in. It is
the restriction put upon his acts that forces him to live
72 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
as he lives. His surroundings form his life and create
for him and moral level.
his social Compare the Jew
of these countries where he is persecuted with those in
Great Brfcain, America, and France, and even in Turkey,
and one has the proof of what I say.
It was such considerations as these, the force of which
was enhanced by the respect that all Mussulmans owe to
the race from which sprang the truth of all religions and all
the intelligence possessed by humanity through revelation,
which urged us to try and remedy the misfortunes of the
Jewish population of Roumania. Just opposite the town
of Braila, on the right bank of the Danube, where the
Machin arm joins the river, is a locality known as Pot-
Bachi, which was chosen as the site of a new town to be
placed at the disposal of the persecuted Jews of Roumania.
The plan of the town was drawn up, arrangements were
made with the Israelite families who were to settle there,
and the whole submitted to the Imperial sanction.
As to the German colonists, numbering some 100,000,
who wished to leave Russia and establish themselves on
theLower Danube, because Russia, which had first exempted
them from military service, had lately changed her disposition
with regard to them, their request, supported by their repre-
sentatives, especially by M. de Radowitz, was examined
and approved. More than one reason existed in favour
of this project. First of all, the country, which had a
superficial area of 12,500 square miles, was peopled by only
360,000 inhabitants, and this vast and fertile region needed
hands to cultivate it. Six German villages had long existed
in the country, and the inhabitants of these villages, who
were strong and honest and good cultivators of the soil,
were rightly regarded as model immigrants and excellent
law-abiding citizens. To increase the number of such
villages would mean doubling and trebling the wealth of
the country and the revenues of the State. This request,
therefore, was also submitted to the Sublime Porte.
ORIENTAL GOVERNMENT 73

Aali Pasha, who several years before had allowed German


colonists to establish themselves on Mount Carmel, in
Palestine, was in favour of these two schemes which I have
his long illnesif and his
just indicated, but unfortunately
death postponed the obtaining of the Imperial sanction.
Later on, the great deference shown towards Russia by
Server Pasha, who succeeded Aali Pasha as Minister for
Foreign Affairs, and the muddle-headed policy of Mahmoud
Nedim Pasha, Grand Vizier, caused both these plans to
be dropped.
During my career I have twice had occasion to consider
such questions of German colonisation. If on this first
occasion I was favourable, matters were very different
the second time. That was when Abd-ul-Hamid granted
the concession for the prolongation of the Anatolian Railway
to Konia and Caesarea, on which occasion he also at first

granted rights to German colonists to settle along the line.


The reader will see later on the opposition I made to this
German mainmise when I deal with the Asia Minor Rail-
ways.
The East, which seems to so many people to be utterly
recalcitrant to order is in my opinion
and good government,
the easiest part of the world to bring into good ways if
one is only just and patient. One little instance is sufficient
to illustrate my meaning. One afternoon I was out riding
in the neighbourhood of Tultcha, when on the heights above
the town I saw two fellows fighting. I went up and arrested

them. But the question was how to get them to the police-
station in the town, as I had only one servant with me.
After taking their names, I made them lock arms, and bade
them go in this way and give themselves up to the police,
and wait for me, warning them that if they did not obey,
they would both be punished severely. On my return to
the town I found them in the hands of the police authorities
awaiting their punishment.
Kustendje (now Constanza), which was the chief town
74 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
of the most important district dependant on Tulteha,

being the chief seaport of the Dobrudja and head of the


railway connecting the Black Sea with the Danube, was the
object oi special attention from the Government of which
I was the head. Two important questions particularly
engaged my attention. The first was that of the port.
The English company which had constructed the small
railway had also made the port and the quay used by
seafaring vessels. They allowed the merchants of the
town to load and unload their goods without paying dues,
and to use the company's funnels for cereals on payment
of 20 para (one penny) per kile (about 25 kilogrammes).
Later, however, the manager of the company arranged
with his Highness Mustapha Fazil Pasha (brother of Ismail
Pasha, Khedive of Egypt) to buy the port from the Turkish
Government for £150,000. On this taking place the liberty
so far enjoyed by the merchants of the town was stopped,
and they had to pay the tax, which was more than the tax
paid by the whole district to the Treasury. While I was
at Constantinople I made a thorough study of this question,
and presented a detailed report to the Grand Vizier, who
saw at once what an unjust imposition the population
was subjected to. I was instructed to arrange the matter
on the spot, and I took with me a delegate of the Ministry
of Public Works to carry out the decisions of the Sublime
Porte. After overcoming a whole mass of difficulties
created by the directors of the railway and the port, of
Kustendje, the matter was arranged to the satisfaction
of the merchants.
The second question was the water supply. Kustendje
—the ancient Tomos, place of exile of the poet Ovid —
must have suffered destruction several times, for the ex-
cavations made for the railway works near the port brought
to light two levels of ancient ruins placed one on top of
the other. The new town forms the third level. The
Romans made subterranean conduits of very solid con-
" "
A ROUMANIAN INCIDENT 75

struction which brought the water from the sources of


"
Lake Sude-Gheul (the Milky Lake," so called from the
purity of the water), some miles north-west of the town.
From the source we were able to convey the wat'er to the
spot where the ancient subterranean conduits remained
intact, and thence by means of a steam engine to raise
itto the highest part of the town, where our central reservoir
was fixed. In this way this important town had the good
fortune of possessing an excellent and abundant water
supply. My successor in the governorship, through some
feeling of jealousy, as I can only suppose, destroyed this
useful work and utilised thepumping machine and the
pipes for another purpose. The consequence is that the
town's water supply is still of a very primitive character ;

and I am astonished that the Roumanians, since they have

been masters at Constanza, have not been struck by these


works and put so useful a public enterprise in order again.
For the second time we had a regrettable incident with
Roumania. A small Turkish barque, laden with tobacco,
in the Danube, was pursued by a brigade of Roumanian
soldiers on the pretence that the merchandise was con-
traband. The boat and the tobacco were seized at Pot-
Bachi, opposite Braila, where it had taken refuge, and was
brought to Braila. As this act constituted a violation of
territory, we were compelled to demand the restitution
of the confiscated boat and merchandise, with reparation.
On the refusal of the authorities at Braila, the Government
boat was sent to that town to repeat the demand with
threats. On this the goods were restored, a deputation
from the Ministry went to Rustchuk to express the excuses
of the Prince's Government, and these excuses were repeated
to me by a telegram from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
I was at Kustendje with my family in the autumn of
1 87 1 for the sea-bathing, when I received orders from the
Sublime Porte to go and establish the^delimitation and hand
over to the heirs the immense landed property which Mirza
76 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
Said Pasha, ex-Governor General of Silistria, had owned
in the district of Medjidie. Just before my departure
from Mahmoud Kouissou, the chief village on the estate,
I received the sad news of the death (on September 6th)
of Aali Pasha, and the astonishing announcement of the
accession to the Grand Vizierate in succession to him of
Mahmoud Nedim Pasha. The same evening, while I
was at Machin en route for Tultcha, I received the news
of the birth of my first son, Mahmoud.
The death of Aali Pasha, at the comparatively early

age of fifty-six, at the very moment when Germany had


gained the great victory that had upset the whole of Europe,
and when Turkey was more than ever in need of a strong
man, was little short of a calamity. He was practically
the last of the astute statesmen who, since Turkey had by
the Treaty of London of 1841 been admitted to the Concert
of Europe, had built up the forces of the country and guided
her destinies. Had Aali Pasha lived, it is more than likely
that many of the events which ensued, and which made the
Eastern question more and more acute as time went on,
would have taken on a very different complexion.
The appointment as Grand Vizier of Mahmoud Nedim
Pasha astonished every one. He had been Minister of
Marine under the Grand Vizierate of Aali Pasha, and then
— —
and especially during that Minister's illness had sought
to gain favour with his Imperial master in two ways —
first, by helping the Sultan in his ambition to improve
the great fleet which Turkey possessed at that time, and
which, thanks to his Majesty, really was an imposing one ;

and secondly, by satisfying the Sultan's love of money.


As the administration of the service of coasting vessels
was under the direction of the Ministry of Marine, and the
revenue was apportioned to the Civil List, Mahmoud Nedim,
month, procured a large sum of
in spite of a deficit each

money monthly by borrowing at an exorbitant rate of


interest from the bankers at Galata, and paid this over
MAHMOUD NEDIM PASHA n
to Abd-ul-Aziz as his Majesty's share of the income due
to him !

The Sultan during the time of Aali Pasha and Fuad


Pasha had been almost a Constitutional monarch? reigning
but not governing. Aali Pasha had exercised such an
influence over him, that he did nothing without consulting
this Minister and gaining his approval. But the death of
Aali Pasha relieved him of this necessity of having his
acts submitted to the approval of his Ministers, and from
that day he felt himself to be a real and absolute Oriental
sovereign. Unfortunately, fate willed it that just at that
juncture a man like Mahmoud Nedim Pasha appeared on
the scene and permitted the Monarch to realise his desire
for arbitrary action.
Mahmoud Nedim Pasha's first acts as Grand Vizier
were to get rid of all the Ministers and Governors who had
collaborated with Aali Pasha and of other functionaries
who had been devoted to the service of the State. He
degraded or exiled them without any excuse or any kind
of inquiry.
He appointed and reappointed new men to the various
posts in the most erraticand incoherent manner. A man
who had been a Governor-General under Aali Pasha would,
for no apparent reason, be nominated a simple governor.

Again, men were appointed to certain governorships, but


before they had reached their posts were transferred else-
where. Hussein Avny Pasha, the Minister of War, was
divested of his functions and sent to Sparta (his native town)
in exile. Shirvani Mehmed Roushdy Pasha, Minister of
same way. Husny
the Interior, was sent to Massia in the
Pasha, the Minister of was degraded and exiled
Police,
to Cyprus. Midhat Pasha, who was still at Bagdad as
Governor of Mesopotamia, was relieved of his post with the
prospect of being banished somewhere in the interior of
Asia.
The confusion and chaos caused by such methods are
78 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
more imagined than described. Within ten months
easily
Mahmoud Nedim Pasha succeeded in destroying all the good
work that former Ministers had taken over thirty years
to accomplish. He kept himself in office by flattering
the Sultan and giving full vent to his whims and fancies.
Abd-ul-Aziz, as I have said, freed from the restraint that
had been exercised over him by Aali Pasha and his council,
made up his mind to enjoy absolute power and to govern
the country according to his caprices. Ignatieff, the
Russian Ambassador, delighted at the deplorable condition
into which the Empire was drifting, did his utmost to gain
the Sultan's goodwill, and succeeded in becoming almost
omnipotent at the palace. He frequently told the Sultan
that there were but two voices in the world that counted
—his own and the Tsar's —
and that when they two were
in agreement, the whole world had but to bow and humiliate
itself. The Sultan, willing to believe that all other foreign
influences on which his Ministers had based their acts
had been pernicious, succumbed to these wheedling methods.
Mahmoud Nedim exploited the situation for his own ends.
old friend Bellotcherkovitz, who had formerly been
My
so charming to me, now, after the death of Aali Pasha,
and while the new Grand Vizier was carrying on his sys-
tematic persecution of all the Ministers and functionaries
who had served under Aali Pasha, also changed his feelings
and attitude towards me.
The country under the sway of the Ottoman throne
where Russian intrigue was most vigorous was Bulgaria,
and especially the portion north of the Balkans forming
the Danube Vilayet. For this reason the Sublime Porte
had given special attention to this part of the Empire
when Midhat Pasha was the Vali, or Governor, in order
to have there a perfect organisation and a just administra-
tion calculated to paralyseany destructive plans of Russian
diplomacy. It was Midhat Pasha, too, who repressed
the first revolutionary movements in Bulgaria. After him
AN INQUIRY 79

the work was continued by functionaries trained in his


school, myself among the number. Thanks to Russian
pressure, and owing the policy— or rather lack
to policy of
— of Mahmoud Nedim Pasha, these allwere driven
officials
v1

from office one after another. I was the only one who
remained.
This fact exasperated Bellotcherkovitz and his chief
Ignatieff. But the credit that I enjoyed with the British
diplomatic representatives, and the consular corps gener-
ally, and the confidence reposed in
me by the population
of the country, happily preserved me from the arbitrary
treatment that had been meted out to my colleagues.
However, difficulties connected with the settlement of
the question of the Bulgarian Church, which had been
recently established in the country, having become acute
(and this had been the greatest political success of General
Ignatieff), it was essential, in the eyes of the Russian re-

presentatives, that I should be removed at all costs. Tq


this end Bellotcherkovitz thought fit to start a campaign
of calumny against me, and in order to carry it on he bought
at Constantinople a French reactionary newspaper, the
Courrier d' Orient. Mahmoud Nedim Pasha, who wanted
to be agreeable to the Russian Embassy, but was anxious
at the same time not to irritate public opinion, which was
favourable to me, decided to have an inquiry made on the
spot into the complaints that had been made against me and
my administration. Nafiz Bey, former Secretary-General
of the Government of the Danube Vilayet, was sent as
commissary to make this inquiry. Sir Henry Elliot, who
had been kept au courant of what was going on by the
British Consuls at Rustchuk and Varna, and by Colonel
Gordon, when he heard of the decision of the Sublime
Porte, went to Mahmoud Pasha, and expressed a strong
hope that I was not going to be made another victim of
Russian intrigue. On the Grand Vizier protesting that
the inquiry would be carried out with the strictest im-
80 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
partiality, the Ambassador gave Nafiz Bey a letter for
Colonel Gordon. Nafiz Bey, on his arrival at Tultcha, came
to me and told me his instructions were to go to Colonel
Gordon immediately and hand him the letter of Sir Henry
Elliot. He told me the British Ambassador had declared
that he would not consider the inquiry as being conducted
impartially unless Gordon certified to it.
All the elements and evidence necessary for the inquiry
were furnished to Nafiz Bey, and in order to leave him
more liberty to make his inquiry I went to Rustchuk.
On my return, when the inquiry was over, Nafiz Bey, in
the course of a chat one day, was telling me of the vast
power enjoyed by the Grand Vizier, and of the absolute
confidence reposed in him by the Sultan, which made him
practically irremovable, when at the very moment that
he spoke a telegram was handed to me announcing the fall
from power of the " all-powerful Mahmoud Nedim Pasha,
"

and the appointment as Grand Vizier of Midhat Pasha.


Nafiz Bey did not have very much trouble in establishing
the truth with regard to the accusations made against me,
because, apart from some charges of a character not only
ridiculous, but utterly unimportant, the two chief accusa-
tions were —
(i) that a Christian minor had been forced

by me to become a convert to Islam (2) that a Russian


;

of Tultcha, put into prison for a crime, had been got out
of the way by me after having been claimed by the Russian
Consul.
This minor was the son of a member of the Orthodox
faith,who, after having changed his religion a number of
times, finally became a Mussulman. The father, who was
of very doubtful morality, claimed the right to make his
son also embrace the new religion he had adopted. After
consultation with the Christian Archbishop of Tultcha,
the boy was put into the Convent of Kokosh until he should
attain his majority. The father, furious at this decision,
went to Constantinople to lodge a complaint against me
A RUSSIAN "INCIDENT" 81

on the ground that I had prevented the boy from following


his father in his religion in spite of his conviction. Mah-
moud Pasha telegraphed demanding that the boy should
be sent immediately to Constantinople. This was done,
and, after an inquiry, the same measure as I had adopted
was followed, and he was handed over to the Patriarch.
The so-called Russian was an inhabitant of the town of
Tultcha, but of Russian origin, as indeed were many other
inhabitants whose families had been settled in the Lower
Danube for centuries. He had been judged and condemned
by a local court for robbery. The Russian Consulate
had protested against the trial on the ground that a drago-
man of the consulate had not been present, but it was
easily shown that the man was a Turkish subject and not
a Russian. After he had served his term he was released.
Then Bellotcherkovitz, paying him a sum of money,
told him to take refuge in Russia, and, believing the man
had followed his advice, came to me and asked me what
had become of him. I said that as he had purged his offence
and was now free again, his whereabouts did not concern
me. In face of M. Bellotcherkovitz' s attitude, I asked him
if he thought I had done
away with the man, and his reply
was that since I could not produce him, he was free to believe
what he liked. This made me so indignant, that I showed
the consul the door. Inquiries proved that the man had
not gone to Russia, but was in a neighbouring village
harvesting, and I sent for him. When he appeared, I called
the other consuls together, and asked them to certify his
presence, not as representatives of their countries, since
it was not a matter that concerned their countries, but as

a friendly act to myself and this they accordingly did.


;

A few weeks after the inquiry I left for Constantinople


to see my old patron, Midhat Pasha. Nafiz Bey also left.
During our journey, as we were leaving Burgas by boat,
a violent tempest broke, and the boat took shelter at
Kachiveloskala, where we spent twenty-four hours. Nafiz
6
82 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
Bey, who was very much afraid of the sea, continued his
journey to Constantinople by way of Adrianople. M.
Zarifi, th^e banker, and his sister, Madame Negreponte, were
also on board. As the little daughter of Mme. Negre-
ponte suffered terribly from seasickness, this lady asked
me to disembark with her and to accompany them to their
place at Burgas until the arrival of another boat. After
three days' delay we arrived at the capital.
The next day I paid my official visits. On the occasion
of my first visit to the Under-Secretary of State at the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Karatheodory Alexander
Pasha, an amusing incident occurred. The second drago-
man of the Russian Embassy was calling at the same time
on Karatheodory Pasha, and was speaking of me in the
most violent terms, asking how the inquiry into my conduct
was proceeding, and saying that the Russian Embassy
was impatient to learn the result. My person was unknown
to the dragoman, and Karatheodory, without moving a
"
muscle, calmly remarked, as he turned towards me, By
the way, this gentleman, if I am not mistaken, comes from
Tultcha, and might be able to enlighten us on this
matter." Keeping up the joke with a great effort, I very
calmly gave all the information I could which was likely
to change the opinion the dragoman had formed about

myself, and he left saying he would inform his Embassy


of the new facts he had gleaned. We greatly enjoyed
this joke, but the dragoman was extremely embarrassed
when he met me later, having learned who I was.
Colonel Gordon had travelled over the Russo-Turkish
frontier in Asia Minor after the Crimean War as a member
of the Commission for the delimitation, and had remained

highly enthusiastic in his admiration for the Kurdish cava-


liers. As I was leaving Tultcha, he gave me a special
"
message for the Sultan to the effect that, If he wanted

to see for himself the splendours of the Sultan of Turkey,


he should go to the country of the Kurds and put himself
MIDHAT PASHA GRAND VIZIER 83

at the head whom there exist no equals


of these cavaliers, of
in the world." stay at the capital, Gordon
During my
and I corresponded frequently, and after a littie while
he also came on a visit and was the guest of Sir Henry
Elliot and my neighbour as well as Radowitz's. One
evening at dinner at the British Embassy at Therapia,
Nubar Pasha had a long conversation with Gordon, and
proposed to him that he should go to the Sudan as successor
to Sir Samuel Baker. The Colonel asked my opinion,
and, as I knew his feelings of friendship, so often shown,
for Turkey, and realised that the projects engendered by
the Khedive's ambition were incompatible with his feelings,
I had no hesitation in advising him not to accept. He
did not go at that time, but when some two years later
he accepted this same offer, he came to see me at Con-
stantinople on his way to Egypt, and told me his reasons,
which I could not but recognise now were valid.
The disorder caused by the stupid and blundering ad-
ministration of Mahmoud Nedim Pasha had suspended all
public affairs, and, apart from General Ignatieff, who had
greatly profited by the situation, all the Embassies had
been much disconcerted. The nomination of Midhat Pasha,
and especially the circumstances in which his appointment
took place, now restored confidence both at home and
abroad. Midhat Pasha had arrived at Constantinople in
spite of theGrand Vizier, who was furious at his appearance,
as he had been persistently pestering the Sultan to exile
him. Unable to sleep from the knowledge that Midhat
Pasha was still in the capital, he had him nominated Gover-
nor-General of Adrianople, and ordered him to leave im-
mediately for his post. Midhat Pasha went to present
his respects and thanks to the Sultan, in accordance with
the custom, and to take leave. In order that Midhat
Pasha should not be left alone with the Sultan, Mahmoud
Nedim Pasha had arranged that the audience should take
place at the same time that two other governors-elect —
84 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
two marshals, who had been appointed to Erzeroum and

Crete were also received by the Sultan. He had counted
upon thUm to give to the conversation a commonplace
turn, and hoped that they would support him in anything
that was said. The Sultan asked Midhat Pasha to give
him his views on the state of affairs, in response to which
the statesman drew a most pessimistic, but faithful picture
of the condition of the Empire, which he described as
drifting into chaos through the incompetence of Mahmoud
Nedim. Abd-ul-Aziz, deeply impressed, turned to the two
marshals, who, instead of controverting Midhat Pasha's
views, fully confirmed them, with their eyes full of tears,
and added, indeed, that their colleague had not made the
picture black enough. The Sultan told Midhat Pasha to
return home and await further instructions. The same
evening the first Chamberlain of the Palace arrived to
announce to him his appointment as Grand Vizier.
Midhat Pasha at once set about restoring order, and one
of his first acts was to recall to their posts all the old
Ministers of Aali Pasha who had been degraded or exiled.
It was about this time that I began to learn a great deal
about Bismarck's intentions with regard to Turkey. No
historical utterance has been more often quoted than the
"
celebrated remark of Bismarck that the Eastern question
was not worth the bones of a Pomeranian grenadier." But,
although so often quoted, no historical utterance has ever
been the cause of so much ambiguous comment, or has
been more constantly misunderstood and misinterpreted.
It has even been used to corroborate the views of those
who would contrast the alleged prudent policy of Bismarck
in cautiously confining his ambitions to the consolidation
of a united Germany in Europe with the presumptuous
"world" policy of his successors under William II., who,
heedless of the safe Bismarckian methods, by their violent
demonstrations caused the Powers to take alarm and unite
against the Pan-Germanist danger.
BISMARCK AND THE EAST 85

In these pages I endeavour to show the workings of the


Bismarckian policy with regard to the East. The reader
will see the beginnings initiated by Bismarck himself of
that logical movement of pan-Germanist expansion, the
consequences of which became patent to all many years
later after the great Statesman's disappearance from the
still more evident
political scene, and which have become
1
in their glaring nakedness in the horrors of the present war.
It was an essential part of the Bismarckian policy to
extend German influence in the East. His theory of a
balance of power in which the slightest gesture from Berlin
would set the scales in motion involved the obligation
never to forget Constantinople and Asia Minor. The
reader will see how, though it was not always apparent,
the East was never long absent from his political calculations.
At this time Bismarck had long been desirous of entering
on a discreet policy of amiable influence with the Sultan's
Government, and to that end had sent Radowitz to Con-
stantinople as Charge d' Affaires, with instructions to prepare
the ground for an amicable entente, the chief object being
to wean Turkey from Russian influences. Radowitz had
recently come from Bucharest, where he was consul-general.
Young, active, and intelligent, he possessed a further
advantage in having a Russian wife, who served for him
as a sort of passe-partout. Radowitz enjoyed the absolute
confidence of his chief, and apart from his personal qualities,
his own amour-propre was at stake in this enterprise, as at
Bucharest he had been the object of all sorts of anti-German
manifestations on the part of the Roumanian population,
"
manifestations which Bismarck described as infamous."
During the war the agency had even been stoned by the
people to show their sympathy with France. Radowitz
had also fought a bitter fight on the Strousberg railway

question in Roumania, to
which Bismarck attached great
importance. In order to give a fillip to the national amour-
1
Written in 1918. —Ed.
86 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
propre, he had referred this matter to the Sublime Porte
to give its decision as Suzerain Court and supreme authority.
Bismarck had had great confidence in the judgment and
diplomatic capacity of Aali Pasha, and had anticipated
encountering no difficulty in establishing close relations
with Turkey during his Grand Vizierate. But his hopes
and were necessarily suspended on the death
activities
of Aali Pasha and during the term of office of Mahmoud
Nedim. They were now resumed on the accession to power
of Midhat Pasha.
Radowitz was aware that I enjoyed the complete con-
fidence of the new Grand Vizier. It was therefore natural
that in conversations when we found ourselves together
at Constantinople and neighbourhood, he should tell me
confidentially of his mission and of his chief's desire to
establish particularly friendly relations with Turkey. He
gave me in detail Bismarck's reasons, which seemed to
me rather more interesting than reassuring. Bismarck
was desirous that Turkish statesmen should not remain
under the impression that Turkey had been left at the mercy
of Russia after the defeat of France. On the contrary,
he was very eager to strengthen the international position
of the Ottoman Empire, and make use of it to rid himself
of the moral yoke of Russia.
These advances on the part of Germany, couched in
amiable form and presented in the most discreet manner,
which Radowitz asked me to commend to Midhat Pasha,
could not but be accepted by us with a certain satisfaction.
Nevertheless, not having learned as yet to understand
and appreciate the tendencies of this new factor, and more
or less sceptical of their value, we preferred to continue
the traditional policy with Great Britain and the Liberal
Powers upon whom we counted for the maintenance of
Turkish interests.
The German Embassy, under Radowitz's direction, gave
other proofs of its condescending and kindly disposition
RUSSIAN APOLOGIES 87

in the settling of an unfortunate affair in which the wife


of the Secretary of the German Embassy was assaulted

by Turkish soldiers in the neighbourhood of Buyuk-Dere.


At the same time, the smoothing over of other difficulties
of a more or less disagreeable nature, gave Midhat Pasha
and the Ottoman Government clearly to understand the
Germany in her dealings with Turkey.
excellent intentions of
Radowitz, too, always animated by the wish to be amiable
to the Porte, and to me personally, willingly acceded to
the desire expressed by Ignatieff that he should arrange
a reconciliation with me after the Bellotcherkovitz incident.
An interview with the Ambassador was therefore arranged,
and on this occasion he gave me satisfaction in the form
of ample and amiable explanations, while also undertaking
to make his subordinate at Tultcha offer me formal excuses.
The result of the inquiry made by Nafiz Bey and of the
action I had brought against the Courrier d' Orient for
its defamation had set people right as to the truth of the

campaign against me. The Sublime Porte, in agreement


with the Russian Embassy, was anxious that Bellotcherko-
vitz should make me formal and official excuses so, in
;

obedience to the wishes of the Ministry, and also to protect


my personal dignity, I had to return to Tultcha.
went by way of Varna, Shoumla, and Rustchuk, in order
I

to pay visits to the commander of the Army Corps and


the Governor of the vilayet. Abdul-Kerim Pasha, who
was always very friendly to me, was very pleased at my
visit to Shoumla. After dinner he handed me an order
from the Sultan asking him to draw up a general plan of
campaign in case of a possible rising of Roumania, Serbia,
Greece, and the Bulgarian country. He gave me the material
with which to draw up the plan of his reply to the Sultan.
At Rustchuk I had to have an understanding with Mgr.
Gregorovius, the Bulgarian Archbishop of that town, on
the question of the church at Tultcha, which was in his
jurisdiction, and, a few days after I had got back to Tultcha,
88 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
the Archbishop arrived. During my stay at the capital
there had been a quarrel between the Greeks and the Bul-
garians for the possession of the church, which up to that
time had been under the direction of the Greek Archbishop.
Hamdy Pasha, the Governor-General, went to Tultcha to
intervene, and he placed seals on the church so as to prevent
further disputes between the rival factions. In my opinion,
this proceeding, more suited to a tavern, was hardly in
consonance with the respect one ought to have for a temple.
I ordered the church doors to be reopened, and, in order to

settle the matter, it was agreed between the two Archbishops


and myself that we should have recourse to a plebiscite
to find out the exact number of adherents of the Greek
Patriarch and those of the Bulgarian Exarchate, so as to
hand the church over to the majority. This unpleasant
question being settled, and the excuses of the Russian Consul
having been duly obtained, I resigned from the governorship
of Tultcha, and, having handed the reins of office to my
successor, Fahry Bey, I returned to Constantinople, passing
by Kustendje, where I had the satisfaction of taking part
in the inauguration of the fountains in the town which
formed the completion of the work that had been going
on for two years.
The good relations between the Sultan and Midhat Pasha
did not last long. Midhat Pasha, faithful to his principles
of reform and a little blunt in his dealings with the sovereign,
had greatly displeased his Majesty, who, since the death
of Aali Pasha, had been, as I have said, extremely jealous of
his absolute power. Midhat Pasha had made two requests of
the Sultan which very much annoyed him. Mahmoud Nedim
Pasha had, during his Grand Vizierate, taken £Tioo,ooo
(2,300,000 frs.) from the Treasury for which he would give
no account. Midhat Pasha insisted with the Sultan that
his predecessor must be put on trial and support the con-

sequences of his irregularity. The decree for the trial


was signed, but it was almost immediately revoked by a
FALL OF MIDHAT PASHA 89

counter-order. The second cause of annoyance was the


following After the death of Aali Pasha, Baron Hirsch
:

came to Constantinople to try and obtain a radical modifica-


tion of his undertakings concerning the building of the
Oriental Railways. In order to attain his ends Hirsch spent
millions in baksheesh. One may say it was the inauguration
of the system of baksheesh on a large scale —
or a la Europe-
enne — in Turkey. Mahmoud Nedim Pasha had even had
the impudence to compromise the august person of his
master, and a sum of £Ti5o,ooo (3,100,000 frs.) was offered
to the Civil List for the Sultan's personal account. Midhat
Pasha was courageous enough to ask the Sultan for the
restoration of this sum to the Treasury. It is said that

Abd-ul-Aziz, on hearing this request from his Grand Vizier,


flushed with rage rather than with shame, and ordered the
immediate restoration of the money, putting the blame of
the irregularity on Mahmoud Nedim. This act, however,
was sufficient to seal the fate of Midhat Pasha. A few days
later,on a Friday, the Grand Vizier, accompanied by Kiamil
Pasha, President of the Council of State, Edhem Pasha,
Minister of Public Works, and other functionaries, went to

Ismit to inspect the railway works in construction. On


our return to the Bosphorus we found the first Chamberlain
of the Sultanhad been waiting for Midhat Pasha for several
hours in order to ask him to return the Imperial Seal and
to announce his dismissal from office. The next day Meh-
med Roushdy Pasha was installed in the Grand Vizierate.
CHAPTER V
1873
— 1876
A SPELL OF THESIMPLE LIFE — RETURN TO OFFICIAL DUTIES— The VAGARIES
— —
of Abd-ul-Aziz Bismarck's aims in the East The untiring
— —
Iron Chancellor My visit to Europe Interview with Lord
— —
Derby Mahmoud Nedim's infamy Deposition of Abd-ul-Aziz
— Accession of Sultan Murad.

On my arrival at Constantinople I found the Porte had


reserved for me the Government of Nish. But I had to
refuse it for personal reasons. As I had left Albania in
my childhood, the active political life I had led had not
left me the time to look after my own interests. I had

therefore made up my mind to return for a time to private

life, and to attend to my own


personal affairs. These
reasons also kept me from accepting the presidency of
the criminal tribunal of Pera, which Midhat Pasha, then
Minister of Justice, pressed me to accept, as well as the
Legation at Washington, which I especially regretted not
being able to take.
Mr. Mayers, the English Consul at Varna, had also retired
from the service and was settled at Constantinople, and he
and I became partners in a mining enterprise, in pursuance
of which we travelled through a portion of Asia Minor
and several of the islands of the Archipelago.
The Sultan seemed to take pleasure in creating difficulties
on every possible occasion for his Grand Vizier. Before
I left on this journey I called on the Grand Vizier, Shirvany

Roushdy Pasha, to take leave, and found him very much


annoyed at the Sultan's caprices, the reason being the
difficulties he was having to persuade the Sultan to receive
90
VISIT OF THE SHAH 91

the Shah of Persia, who was expected, in the regular manner.


The etiquette usually followed on occasions of the
kind
was for the Grand Vizier, with the Minister foy Foreign
Affairs, togo and receive the visiting monarch at the Dar-
danelles on his way to Constantinople, if he came by the
Mediterranean, or at Varna if he came by the Black Sea,
while the Sultan would meet the royal visitor on board the
vessel on his arrival at Constantinople. On this occasion
the Sultan took umbrage that Nazr-ed-Din, the Sovereign
of a country bordering on Turkey, instead of starting his

trip with a visit to the Sultan, should


end up his round
of visits with him ; and for this reason he would not consent
to follow the usual rules of etiquette. He only yielded
at the very last moment. Nevertheless, the meeting be-
tween the two Monarchs was quite cordial, and the Shah
was most deferential to the Ottoman Sovereign. Abd-ul-
Aziz disliked his royal cousin's uniform studded with
brilliants, and, in order to make fun of the great number
of diamonds which he wore, he had the pattens the Shah
wore to go to his bath also studded with diamonds. He
made Kiamil Pasha invite Nazr-ed-Din to dinner in order
that this subject of his might astonish him by making use
of the dinner service in diamonds which he had received
as a present from his father-in-law, the famous Mehemet Ali
of Egypt.
Midhat Pasha hadto go to Cheshme, opposite Scio, to
take a cure of the waters of this locality, and I profited
by the opportunity to accompany him as far as Mitylene.
From there, in company with my friend Chakir Pasha, and
the engineer of the mines, M. David, a Frenchman, I went
to Aivali to visit the iron and copper mines in the neigh-
bourhood of the town, which we found very rich both in
quality and quantity. We spent two days in the mountains
far all habitation, and had a sheep cooked in al fresco
from
style by our servants. As a good Albanian, I amused
myself by reading the horoscope from the shoulder-blade
92 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
of the sheep, which indicated that the Governor of the
country which we were had been dismissed. On our
in
return to Aivali we learned that the mountain in which
we had been was dependent on the Vilayet of Broussa, and
that its Governor-General had just been dismissed. The
coincidence greatly amused us. If it had occurred in
Albania, it would have given me a great title to clairvoyance
in the eyes of my compatriots.
For over a year Mayers and I worked a lignite mine in
the island of Imbros, where I passed a good deal of time
in superintending the workings. This quiet rustic life
gave me a much-desired rest from the many tiring years in
the Government service and from political turmoil. Imbros
is an ideal spot wherein to spend a quiet life. We passed
whole weeks without communication with the outside
world. No telegrams came, nor couriers, nor newspapers,
nor anything else to disturb our hermit's life amid this
beautiful scenery and among a population that is perhaps
the quietest and simplest in the world. There are no plea-
sures there except the songs of young Greeks and the
country dances. The sole authority in the place was the
medir (a sort of mayor appointed by the Government), who
was a charming Albanian, and more like the father of this
island family than a representative of government. There
were four or five gendarmes recruited from among the
Greeks of the country, who did not even know where their
arms were, so little did they ever find need of using them
—and it is if they would have known how to if
doubtful
the occasion had arisen. Sheep and goats were left,
shepherdless, to roam the island at their own sweet will,
and there was no danger, since neither wolves nor robbers
existed. When one of these animals was needed, all it was
necessary to do was to point one of them out to one of the
country dogs, which would catch it. The fishing and
shooting were extremely good. I shall never forget the
delightful months I spent on this island.
THE SULTAN'S TASTES 93

But I returned to Constantinople, where I found still


another Grand Vizier installed and, owing to the personal
;

relations I had with Midhat Pasha and other Ministers, I


could no longer escape from political preoccupations. The
Sultan Abd-ul-Aziz had continued the capricious conduct
which he had started during the Grand Vizierate of Mahmoud
Nedim Pasha. He still had sufficient scruples not to get
rid entirely of his leading Ministers but, in order to nullify
;

their influence, and prevent them from acting in concert, he


had recourse to the system of favouring first one and then
another, calling each one in turn to the Grand Vizierate,
and all the time watching for a favourable opportunity to
recall his real favourite, Mahmoud Nedim Pasha.
The Sultan, who was inmany respects a sober man and
of great personal dignity, had nevertheless inclinations and
tastes of a somewhat vulgar if not grotesque kind. He
was fond of wrestling-matches and cock-fights indeed, his
;

passion for these sports was so great that he was not satis-
fied with rewarding the human champions, but often also
decorated the winning cocks ! His low tastes never led
him to commit
acts of cruelty, like those recorded of the
Roman emperors, although in one " sport " he was addicted
to a feeble imitation of some of Nero's exploits, when his
victims were clothed in skins and thrown to the wild animals.
His favourite buffoon was an Armenian named Courban
Ossib, who was made to conceal pieces of meat, messes of
rice and pilav, and other delicacies beneath his jacket or
under his arms, after which the dogs were set on him, and
he was rolled over and over by the animals in their efforts
to get the food. Such scenes greatly amused the Sultan.
When they were over he always gave the victim a few hundred
Turkish pounds and told him to go and take a bath. On
the other hand, the Sultan had a passion for painting,
especially for marine scenes

his ruling passion —
and his
favourite artist was the famous Russian-Armenian marine
painter, Aivasovski. His taste for architecture led him to
94 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
build palaces, of which the designs and plans were the work
of his own imagination, and though these showed some
talent, tl^eywere always conceived in a taste of Imperial
splendour which ran away with millions. Of music also he
was fond, but only oriental music. Yet he turned a charm-
ing little theatre which his brother, Abd-ul-Medjid, had
built near the Palace, into a stable, his horses being another
of his passions.
The Khedive of Egypt, Ismail Pasha, stayed for long
periods at a time at his palace of Emighian on the Bosphorus,
and flattered the Sultan's whims to the utmost. The Sultan
even visited him at his residence. Ismail Pasha's repre-
sentative, Abraham Pasha, was the most influential man
at the Palace and, profiting by the Monarch's weakness,
;

he obtained from him the promise to accord to the Khedive


the right of having political representatives at the European
Courts. The First Chamberlain, Chefket Pasha, was in-
structed to handle this political question with Abraham
Pasha but Chefket Pasha's patriotism would not allow
;

him to carry out the proposal, and he informed the Grand


Vizier, who
interfered and stopped it.
He was always obsessed by a fear of fire, having been
greatly impressed by a dream he had had of being enveloped
in the flames of an immense conflagration. All possible
measures were taken in the interior of the Palace to obviate
the danger of fire and, a prey to the same fear, he had a
;

whole quarter of wooden houses situated on the heights


overlooking the Palace of Dolmabatche demolished. These
houses disappeared in twenty-four hours. On their site
he started to build a mosque that was to rival in splendour
the great mosques of Stamboul; but this got no farther
than the foundations.
His sense of the respect due to his person and position
developed into a megalomania of extraordinary proportions.
His Ministers were forced to prostrate themselves before
him in a manner which revolted even the oriental con-
CHARACTER OF ABD-UL-AZIZ 95

science, and he was furious against those who did not


conform to this requirement. The famous Marshal Abdul-
Kerim, who was a very big man, told me that the Sultan
was particularly resentful against him because in the
audiences he did not prostrate himself as did the other
Ministers and Governors, and frequently asked why that
" '

great fellow always stood up before him like a minaret ?


" "
I thought once," said the Marshal, whether I would
not try and do the same as my colleagues but as a capstan
;

would have been necessary to haul me up again, I desisted."


On one occasion, the architect of the Palace, Serkiss Bey,
replying to a question of the Sultan with regard to the
progress beingmade on the building of the new Arms Depot,
satisfied his Majesty that things were going on very well.
This particular building interested the Sultan very much,
"
and, commenting on the work, he added, God, too, is
favouring us with fine weather."
"
Serkiss Bey replied Oh, no, Majesty, God does not
:

favour you. He favours poor men like me He flatters


;

"
your Majesty !

This reply so delighted the Sultan that he called the


"
Ministers and said to them, Not one of you has ever
made so clever a remark to me as that. You ought all to
go and congratulate this spiritucl Armenian."
He never pardoned Midhat Pasha for offending his
dignity, as he considered it, by coming into his presence
wearing spectacles without having first obtained permis-
sion !

He was
particularly annoyed if anybody but himself had
pretensions to possessing a palace or a big house. Fuad

Pasha built himself a fine house the first made of stone
in —
Constantinople a fact which considerably angered the
Sultan, who ordered that it should be handed over to him.
At first Fuad Pasha resisted the request, saying to the

Chamberlain who came with the message, " Tell your


master we are his subjects, and not his slaves, and that
96 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
what we possess is our own." But finally he had to yield,
and he never lived in his house, which afterwards became
the Ministry of Finance. On the other hand, Abd-ul-Aziz
himself built a mansion for Aali Pasha, though he took
it himself after that Minister's death. The large mansion
of the German Embassy, situated on the heights over-
looking the Palace, greatly irritated him, and he used to
complain that the beaks of the eagles which surmounted
the building seemed to be penetrating into his brain !

Abd-ul-Aziz' s extravagances, meeting with no real op-


position, inevitably caused a slackness in the Government
and the administration of public affairs. His personal
vagaries and eccentricities, deplorable as they were, might
have been tolerated if they had not extended to the
political and administrative domain, which was thus play-
ing into the hands of Ignatieff, the Russian Ambassador.
But here I must speak of the political aims, with their
wide ramifications, that were being pursued by Bismarck,
" "
who, like the man of iron he was, never became discour-
aged or gave up his ideas. The frequent changes of Minis-
try in the Empire, and the consequent unceitainty and
instability in Turkish politics, were by no means helpful to
his political ambitions, and any other man might have got

discouraged. But Bismarck, if ever man did, knew what


he wanted, and when he had made up his mind on a course
of action, or any object in view, it was seldom that he did
not succeed, and it was rarer for him to abandon his pro-
ject. To understand his aims at Constantinople, one
should not forget the previous fourteen years, during which
he had waged a political struggle first against the Hapsburg
Monarchy, from which he had sought to wrest the domina-
tion it had exercised over Germany, using the Confederated
States as pawns in the manoeuvre to attain mastery over
Central Europe then against France and the other Great
;

Powers, some of which justified their interference in Ger-


many's affairs by its political divisions, while others opposed
BISMARCK AND HIS ENEMIES 97

German unification ; and, of all his enemies, the most for-


midable were the German States themselves and their
particularism, which was so difficult to break dowrj Three

great and successful wars one against Denmark, which
had given Schleswig-Holstein to Prussia one against

Austria, and finally one against France had had, as their
;

result, the elimination of all foreign influences and the


completion of that remarkable work, the German Empire
under the sceptre of the Hohenzollerns. The military suc-
cesses of Prussia and the Confederated States had not only
secured political preponderance for the German Empire,
but had forced the other Powers unwillingly to leave to her
this place of honour in the European Concert.
Bismarck, as I have said, never rested on his laurels. A
profound psychologist and sure judge of human nature, an
expert in the mentality and morality of statesmen, he
devoted himself to the task of seeking political combina-
tions likely to strengthen the future of unified Germany,
and to set aside all obstacles to the fulfilment of her destiny,
of which the formation of the Empire was but the first

step. Although aware that the Czar Alexander II. had a


real affection for his uncle, the Emperor William, and that
the disposition of the Emperor-King Francis Joseph was
pacific, the Iron Chancellor, nevertheless, did not consider
these facts as sufficient reasons either for the Russians to
abandon their secular dream of
possessing Constantinople
—a longing that had only been whetted by the Black Sea
success—or for Austria-Hungary abandon idea
to all of

revenge. The well-known hatred Count Beust, Chan-


of
cellor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, for Bismarck, and
the jealousy of Prince Gortschakow, all the more inflamed
since the Germans' recent victories, gave Bismarck sufficient
cause for anxiety.
Now the only basis for an entente in either direction, and
the sole pivot of a coalition, had necessarily to be the East.
Already, guided by his intuition, he had firmly made up
7
98 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
his mind on this point at the time of the treaty of peace
with Austria at Nicholsburg. But, until he could succeed
in eliminating the difficulties on both sides, and achieve
his genial plan of an alliance with the conquered enemy of

yesterday, it was manifestly wise for him to make sure of


the East and prevent its escaping him for good. Hence
he set himself methodically and calmly to the task, on the
one hand, of fostering relations with the two Empires by
holding before them the prospect of a triple alliance, and,
on the other hand, of putting Turkey on her guard and
keeping her, if possible, safe from all danger of being ab-
sorbed by others.
While the three Emperors and their Chancellors, during
frequent visits to each other, were exchanging views on the
possibility of arriving at a Triple Alliance, Bismarck's con-
fidentialmen, such as Radowitz, and later on Count Keudell,
were sent by him to investigate the ground in the East, to
take necessary precautions, and prevent any danger of a
seizure of Turkey by her neighbours. After 1871 Bismarck
had one single preoccupation, namely, to prevent the other
Great Powers from forming a coalition, the central point of
which should be France and the moving power the East.
He was always afraid of events tending towards an alliance
of France with Russia or Austria-Hungary ;
but what he
feared above all was that Russia might come to an under-
standing with Austria-Hungary in order to arrive at a
compromise on their Eastern interests regardless of Ger-
many. With regard to France, her Republican form of
Government seemed in a way to keep her at a distance
from Russia and Austria-Hungary, who were defenders of
the monarchical principle. It remained for him, then, to
choose between the two Empires for an effective alliance.
An alliance with Russia would doubtless have strengthened
the dominant position of the German Empire in Europe,
but this advantage would have been gained at the expense
of the abandonment of the East to the Russians. On the
THE TURKS AND GERMANS 99

other hand, was plain that an Empire having a geo-


it

graphical position like that of German}'', and a rapidly


increasing population, could not be satisfied with 3.er terri-
tory in Europe, with no possibility of extending her economic
and industrial domains, which, ever since the creation of
the Empire, had assumed great importance. Such chances
of extension could only be realised in the East.
Such being his objects, Bismarck laid his plans in order
to render the Austrian Alliance a fundamental law of the
two nations, a law which could not be easily upset by the
divergencies of political parties. His object was to make
"
of Austria a sub-Germany." At the same time he must
show a fair face to Russia on the question of Constantinople,
while making the other Powers believe that he was acting
as a watch-dog upon Russia's intentions. Bismarck, of
course, had not less foresightthan Frederick the Great,
"
who said that if the Russians were to take Constantinople,
"
a year later they would be at Konigsberg nor was he ;

less of a political realist than the Dietrich Bulows, the


Moritz Andts, the Ludwig Jahns, the Friedrich Lists, who
had defined Pan-German interests, who had traced their
road and indicated the means of reaching it.
Bismarck also understood the psychology of the Turk,
and knew pretty well what he was capable of doing. He
knew that the Turks, like all Orientals, are impressed solely
by military power and by religious questions. The mili-
tary organisation of the Brandenburgs and the exploits of
Frederick the Great had been spread in the East long before
the legendary victories of the great Napoleon. The later
victories of Germany only caused the oriental imagination
to work even more in favour of the descendants of the

Brandenburgs. In religious questions, again, German in-


fluence in the East had long been important. Luther's
reform had stirred the Mussulman conscience to such an
extent that, as far back as the time of the Sultan Ibrahim,
a special mission had been sent to Germany with the object
ioo ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
of protecting these religious reformers, whose doctrine, it
was believed, was tending to approach that of Islam.
Steadfast in these aims, and determined to follow out his
ideas, Bismarck therefore continued to manoeuvre on the

political field of the Orient. His confidential man, Count


Keudell, was now sent to represent the German Empire at
the Sultan's Court, and to make another attempt at a
political rapprochement.
The main object now was to arrange for the political
independence of Roumania, and the conclusion of a mili-
tary convention between Turkey and independent Rou-
mania. Dimitri Bratiano, brother of Jean Bratiano, with
whom Bismarck continued to have the closest relations,
who was at Constantinople with the Chancellor's emissaries,
held himself ready to open up negotiations if the tempta-
tion presented itself and there seemed a chance of arriving
at the desired result. It is well known that Bismarck

never concealed from the reigning Prince Charles his desire


and hope of seeing Roumania become the Belgium of the
East. But at the critical moment when Charles Hohen-
zollern was struggling with discontent and uprising in his

country, Bismarck went no farther than encouraging him


morally and advising him to get on good terms with the
Grand Vizier, Aali Pasha. Having entered upon the war
with France, he did not wish to start a Roumanian ques-
tion which might upset the harmony that had been estab-
lishedbetween Germany and Russia.
At the time of which I am now speaking, however, when
the German Empire was established on a solid basis, and
the enmity between Bismarck and the Russian Chancellor
was steadily increasing, the Iron Chancellor saw in the
above combination a serious advantage. An independent
Roumania, united in a strong coalition with Turkey, would
of aggression on the
safeguard the latter from all danger
It would bolt and bar the road to Con-
part of Russia.
stantinople.
ROUMANIA'S INDEPENDENCE 101

Bismarck knew some years before, Aali Pasha, in a


that,
confidential conversation with Count Beust at Constan-
tinople, had shown himself disposed and even wiling to
abandon Roumania to the Hapsburg Monarchy. The pros-
pect of Roumania's incorporation in the Danubian Monarchy,
or even of her gaining her independence under such aus-
pices, was, in the eyes of Bismarck, like
the presage of an
Austro-Russian Alliance, as Roumania would in that case
be the motive and the stake of an entente between the two
Eastern Empires other than Germany.
Therefore, if he could be the means of bringing about
this Roumanian independence, by direct entente between
the Suzerain Court and the vassal, he would, on the one
hand, be strengthening the political position of the Otto-
man Empire, and, on the other hand, he would prevent
Austria-Hungary from concluding any alliance with Russia.
I myself, as well as the Ministers with whom I examined
this discreetlysuggested combination, recognised the
advantages which would accrue from it for us. But, un-
fortunately, the Government's instability and the frequent
changes of Ministry were the reasons for the non-realisation
of a policy that would have been truly patriotic from the
Turkish point of view. Keudell, disappointed, was recalled
from Constantinople and sent to Rome.
Once more, on the eve of the Russo-Turkish War, the
same Dimitri Bratiano was entrusted at Constantinople
with the task of pleading the cause of the neutrality of the
I was then General Secretary
Principality of Roumania.
at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and I worked hard in
the same direction. But again the stupidity of the Porte,
or some strange and unfortunate fatality, caused the failure
of a scheme which would have been of signal value to

Turkey in a war against Russia.


As every one knows, the independence of Roumania be-
came a fait accompli in 1878, but then the result was not to
protect Turkey against Russia, but rather to have the
102 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
contrary effect, since Bessarabia had become a Russian
province, and Russia also had the arm of the Danube.
Kilia
Bism&xk, nevertheless, continued to push his views con-
cerning Turkey. In spite of his pretended disinterested-
ness, when it was decided to send German officers and
officials to Turkey to help organise her army and the civil
and financial administration, in answer to those who had
doubts as to whether such arrangements might be agreeable
to the other Powers, he replied that, when Prussia was on
the best terms with Russia, the Turkish artillery was
organised by Prussian officers. Insisting as he did upon
keeping a hand on Turkey, and, above all, on Asia Minor,
he considered that Germany would reap much advantage
by sending her officers and functionaries to those countries.
In the first place, Germany would have at her command a
number of officials who knew and had studied these regions,

and these some time or another might be able to render


at

great service. Through them Turkey's condition would


be improved, and her defensive position would not lack
importance for Germany herself if ever a war due to Pan-
Slavism or Chauvinism were to be declared against Ger-
" "
many. In such a case," he added, the Turkish forces
and their state of defence would not be a matter of in-
difference to us, all the more so as their enemies might some
day become ours."
The war of 1 914-18 demonstrates the foresight of Prince
Bismarck. But would matters have reached the point
that we see to-day, when the traditional friends of Turkey
have become her enemies, if Bismarck or his policy had

survived ? I hardly think so.

The Turkish Ministers, who were in accord on the general


lines of policy, and fretted under the paralysis of all govern-
mental effort, became confirmed in their determination to
adopt radical measures against Abd-ul- Aziz's eccentricities.
The drastic remedy of deposition was discussed, and I was
one of the few who were opposed to this plan, as I
argued
BRITISH INTEREST 103

that Abd-ul-Aziz was possessed of sufficient good qualities


tomake a useful monarch, if he were properly led, as was
shown by his early career when the wise Aali Pas^fa was
alive to guide him.
Midhat Pasha, then Minister of Justice, drew up a pro-
ject of organic statutes which comprised a responsible

Ministry, and inaugurated the era of the people's right to


control the national finances. When the Sultan got wind
of this proposal, through an indiscretion, he became so
furious that he dismissed Midhat Pasha from the Ministry
and sent him as Governor-General to Salonika (where he
only remained a month), while he replaced the Grand Vizier
by Hussein Avny Pasha.
Sir Henry Elliot, who took a real interest in the welfare
of the Empire, and whom I saw frequently, never missed an
opportunity of making friendly and useful suggestions to
the Sultan. Furthermore, a group of British members of
Parliament, with whom I kept up a continual correspon-
dence, took up the matter (and among them I remember
the names of Messrs. York, Wyndham, and Bruce). Keep-
ing themselves au courant with what was going on by the
reports which I sent, by debates in Parliament and other-
wise, they drew the attention of the British Government to
the condition of Turkey.
Hussein Avny Pasha, now Grand Vizier, invited me to

go and see him, when he reproached me bitterly for re-


maining so long out of public affairs, and begged me to
accept another post. While thanking him, I persisted in
my desire to remain at liberty still some time longer, as I
wished to visit Albania, and also to undertake a journey
to Europe.
So in July 1875 I left Constantinople, accompanied by
Chakir Pasha, who, being also at that moment at liberty,
gladly accepted my invitation that we should visit my
native country together. We had the pleasure of travelling
from Constantinople with his Highness Prince Halim
104 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
Pasha, of Egypt, who was going to Europe via Trieste.
At Valona, where we arrived after a four days' journey by
sea, my^mcle Sehm Pasha received us.

During our stay at Valona, the political complications


arising out of the insurrection in Bosnia and Herzegovina
having brought about a favourable opportunity for ap-
pointing a Coalition Ministry, Mahmoud Nedim Pasha was
called to the presidency of this Ministry. I was deeply

dejected at the submission of Midhat Pasha and other


statesmen to this combination, which was only the accom-
plishment of the Sultan's desire to have his favourite again
as Grand Vizier. Several days after the formation of this
Cabinet, we received telegrams announcing the appoint-
ment of my friend, Chakir Pasha, as Governor of Herze-
govina, with orders to leave immediately for his post, and
inviting me to go to Constantinople and return to the
service.
However, as my uncle Selim Pasha had fallen seriously
ill,and I for particular reasons did not wish to return to
the capital again before having visited Europe, my uncle
and I started for Naples, where he was to get medical
advice.
At Corfu my uncle died. After I had superintended the
despatch of his body to Valona by special boat, I myself
left for Naples. My two domestics had also returned to
Constantinople, and so for the first time in my life I found
myself alone in a foreign country without servants. I
especially missed my old attendant, Fehim, an Albanian,
who had accompanied me everywhere ever since my child-
hood. This change and the loss of my uncle saddened me,
but a few days later I went on to Rome, where, fortunately,
I found Alexander Pasha, the Turkish Minister, whose

friendly reception dissipated this feeling of loneliness.


From Rome I went to Milan, with the intention
of being

present at the arrival of William I. of Germany, who was


going to pay a visit to Victor Emmanuel II. But at Milan
IN ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND 105

there was such a concourse of people that it was impossible


to find a place in an hotel so, after waiting for hours
;
te^
in the station, I was able to take the train for Pciis. In

Paris I stayed just three days sufficient time to visit the
Turkish Ambassador, Ali Pasha, an old friend of mine.
In London, where I had many friends, I spent two
months. I was received by the then Foreign Minister,
Lord Derby, and by Sir Stafford Northcote (later Lord
Iddesleigh), Chancellor of the Exchequer. The chief object
of my stay in London was to explain the situation of Turkey
to Lord Derby and to make a study of the finances and the
localgovernment of Great Britain. Sir Stafford Northcote
recommended me to Mr. (later Baron) Welby, Permanent
Secretary to the Treasury, who put me au courant with all
the financial questions which interested me, while Sir
Adler, who was then at the head of the Excise Department,
also supplied me with all I needed for a thorough study of
the question of indirect taxation.
My old friend, Sir Robert Yell, who was in Scotland,

having retired from the consular service, invited me to go


and spend some time with him, and make my studies of
local government on the spot. I met him at Berwick-on-

Tweed, where he was waiting for me, but, as his own castle
of Binns was under repair, he took me to his uncle, Mr.

Wilkie's, place, Foulding, where we spent a week. There I


first met Mrs. Coddington, one of the most beautiful and

charming Englishwomen I ever met. During our stay we


were entertained by the families of Mr. Michelay and Mr.
Hume, and so I had opportunities of appreciating the charms
of English country life. At Foulding, thanks to Mr. Wilkie
and the local clergyman, I was able to satisfy my desire
to gain information on the workings of parochial adminis-
tration, and I was present at meetings of the parish council.
Sir R. Yell also accompanied me to Edinburgh, where
we spent three days, and from there we visited Linlithgow.
I shall never forget the pleasant days I passed in this beau-
106 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
tiful country with such channing people, but the thing
that perhaps struck me most was the hospitality of the
people oi'iLinlithgow. As we were waiting in the station
to take our train back, a number of people who had learned
that a stranger from the East was there, came to see me and
/ invited me to go back and pass a few hours with them.
When I thanked them, and said I really had not the time,
as the train was shortly leaving, they tried to deceive me

by saying there would be no more trains that evening.


Sir Robert Yell intervened, and they justified their well-
meant fib by telling me the patron saint of their town was
St. Michael, who was also the patron of strangers, and
therefore it was their duty to show hospitality to visitors !

I have said, that the deposition of the


considered, as I

Sultan, which had now been decided upon at Constantinople,


would be extremely injurious for the country. Abd-ul-
Aziz, whose eccentricities were due to the excessive develop-
ment of qualities essentially worthy of respect which were
innate to his birth and position, needed guiding by firm
Ministers. To depose him, and thus weaken the power of
the Sovereignty among so heterogeneous a population as
that which constituted the various portions of the Empire,
would be likely to have grave consequences. Hence it
behoved me to do all in my power to prevent such a catas-
trophe, as I judged this might be.
In my conversation with Lord Derby, who wished to get
from me
an expose of the situation in Turkey, I told him
frankly my fears, and added that there was only one Power
which could avert this threatened danger, and that was
England, as there was no element of thought in the Empire
which did not believe that Great Britain was the friend of
Turkey and would go out of her way to do the Empire good.
They would therefore know that advice coming from Eng-
land was sincerely meant, and was salutary, and the Sultan,
equally convinced of,, this fact, would yield to recommenda-
tions coming from Great^Britain,
TALK WITH LORD DERBY 107

The Foreign Minister was very much impressed with


what him and seemed to realise the gravity of the
I told
situation. He said he would inform his colleagues^f what
had passed between us, but added that, whatever the
British Cabinet decided upon doing, I need not expect to
receive an answer on this question. I assured him that

this was not desire, but that, on the contrary, I should


my
prefer to be forgotten in the matter, since I had acted as a
simple patriot and not as the trustee of an official or semi-
official mission.
Mahmoud Nedim Pasha, who was the evil "genius of the
Empire, on his return to power, resumed the practices that
were so evil for the country as well as for the Sultan. Act-
ing all through and in everything on the inspiration of
General Ignatieff, who was preparing the last blow against
the Empire, he adopted the device of suspending the pay-
ment of the coupons of the Ottoman Debt. I was in
London when I learned of this measure, which threw the
Empire into discredit with the public of the Western coun-
tries, especially the English. I was extremely indignant,
not so much against Mahmoud Nedim Pasha, from whom
I did not expect much else, but against my friend, Midhat
Pasha, and his colleagues, who countenanced such an act.
I at once wrote a letter to Midhat Pasha expressing my

disapproval in the most violent terms. Midhat Pasha was


not slow in realising the political error into which he had
fallen, and, in order to try and repair the evil, immediately
handed his resignation to the Sultan in a letter, a copy of
which I found on my return to Paris with Sadik Pasha,
the new Turkish Ambassador.
I stayed two months in Paris, and while there made a
similar study on economical subjects to that which I had
undertaken in England. M. Bounce, the ex-Ambassador,
now in retirement, and Baron d'Avril, my old colleague of
the Danube Commission, helped me to gain access to the
various Ministerial departments. Thanks also to the
108 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
kindly aid of Sadik Pasha, I was able to conclude a pre-
liminary ^convention with a M. Desmasures, Director of the
CompagnL Asphaltine, for the exploitation of the bitumen
mines of Selinitza at Valona, of which I had acquired the
concession.
I returned by way of Italy to Valona, where a few days
later M. Desmasures joined me to study on the spot the
resources of the mine. While at Valona I received a letter
from Odian Effendi informing me of the approaching realisa-
tion of the patriotic project of Midhat Pasha— namely, the
deposition of the Sultan Abd-ul-Aziz. A couple of weeks
later M. Bertrand, the director of the cable, came to hand
me a copy of the official telegram from the Grand Vizier,
Mehmed Roushdy Pasha, to the Great Powers announcing
that the Sultan Aziz had been dethroned by the will of the
people, and that Murad V. had been proclaimed Sultan of
Turkey. This news produced such an impression on me
that for some moments I could not find words to impart
it to the judge of the town and other Albanian notables who

were with me. The first telegram was quickly followed


by another which announced the accession of the new
Sultan to the population, who received the news with
transports of joy.
This is how this sensational event had taken place at
Constantinople. Mahmoud Nedim Pasha had become so
unpopular that threats were made to assassinate him. The
soft as(or theological students) went so far as to measure
publicly the height of the railings in front of the Sublime
Porte, in order, as they said, to find out whether the}' were
suitable to hang the Grand Vizier on. These manifestations
who, in order to calm public
at last alarmed Abd-ul-Aziz,

feeling, discharged Mahmoud and


appointed Mehmed
Roushdy Pasha Grand Vizier, Midhat Pasha, Hussein Avny
Pasha, and others being also in the Ministry. On this
occasion the Sultan called each of the Ministers to him in
turn, and told them that the arrangement was only a tern-
THE SULTAN'S DEPOSITION 109

porary one, and that he would shortly make other dis-


positions more suitable to each one he spoke to.
;Thus he
told Mehmed Roushdy Pasha that he, who was/ regarded
as the father of the people, would soon be placed in absolute
power under himself he informed Midhat Pasha that the
;

Ministry would shortly be dismissed and he would be


appointed Constitutional Grand Vizier and entrusted with
the promulgation of a Liberal regime and so on with the
;

others. When
the Ministers got together they naturally
compared notes and discovered the full extent of the Sultan's
his deposition, and
duplicity. They decided at once upon
fixed the event for the following Thursday.
On the Monday night the Sultan summoned Hussein
Avny Pasha, Minister of War, by an urgent message. The
Minister, thinking that this summons was an indication
that the Sultan had learned of what was going forward,
did not obey. Sent for a second time, he returned a reply
that he was ill and would wait on His Majesty in the morn-
ing. He immediately invited his colleagues to his house,
and a Council took place in the night, when they decided
to proceed at once to the deposition of the Monarch.
After midnight Hussein Avny Pasha went to the Palace
of the Heir-Presumptive, Murad, to bring him to the

Ministry for War, where he was proclaimed.


Abd-ul-Aziz was awakened by the sound of the cannon
which announced the accession of his successor. Redif
Pasha, the Commander of the First Army Corps, was en-
trusted with the task of informing Abd-ul-Aziz of the wish
of the people that he should cease to reign, and of the
decision to transfer him to the Old Seraglio at Byzantium.
With great sang-froid and resignation, the Sultan submitted
to the inevitable, and was embarked on a caique with rive
pairs of oars with his son. He carried in his hand the
sword of his great uncle, Selim III., which that Monarch
had carried with him when he suffered the same fate. Two
days later, Abd-ul-Aziz wrote a letter to the Sultan Murad
no ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
announcing his abdication in the latter's favour, and beg-
ging thHt he might be transferred to another palace, as the
Old Seraglio reminded him of tragic scenes connected with
his predecessors. He was moved to one of the pavilions
of the Palace of Tchiragan, on the Bosphorus, where, the

morning after his arrival, he committed suicide by opening


his veins with a small pair of scissors.
J

CHAPTER VI

1876


The accession of Murad V. His growing mental aberration —

The murder of the Ministers The deposition of Murad —
Accession of Abd-ul-Hamid.

The day after the reception of the telegram announcing


the new Sultan's accession, I was expecting M. Karapanos,
who was coming to Valona to study the financial side of
my bitumen mining enterprise. I was on my way to the
quay to meet him when I received a letter from him asking
me to go and meet him at Corfu, as he had to go to Con-
stantinople to offer his congratulations to the new Sultan
with his father-in-law, Christaki Effendi, Sultan Murad's
banker.
It was while we were at Corfu that we received the sad
news of the suicide of Abd-ul-Aziz.
After this meeting I returned, for my part, to Valona, and
here, a day or two later, I learned of the assassination of the
Ministers.
This was a terrible affair. The Ministerial Council had
assembled at the house of Midhat Pasha at Stamboul, when
Cherkes Hassan, captain of infantry and ex-aide-de-camp
to Prince Izeddin, the son of Abd-ul-Aziz, came and asked
to be taken to Hussein Avny Pasha, for whom he said he
had an urgent communication. He rushed into the room
where the Ministers were sitting, went straight up to
" "
Hussein Avny, calling out, Don't move and fired at!

him with a revolver. The shot entered the lower part of


XII
ii2 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
the Minister's body, wounding him mortally, and, as he
rose tor totter out, the assassin finished him with a knife.
A panic followed, and the other persons present fled. Only

Rashid Pasha, Minister for Foreign Affairs who is believed
to have been seized with a syncope, and was perhaps already

dead remained motionless in his arm-chair beside that of
Hussein Avny. The assassin fired a bullet into his head,
which lodged in such a position that, since he did not fall
from or move in his chair, it could only be presumed he
was no longer living. Then Cherkes Hassan tried to burst
open the door of the room where the Grand Vizier and the
other Ministers had taken refuge, but Kaiserli Ahmed (now
Minister of Marine), and Ahmed, Midhat Pasha's Albanian
servant, succeeded in seizing him. Though they held him
by the arms, he was still able to attack. He slashed the
nose and ears of the Minister, and killed Ahmed with a shot
from his revolver in the head. Soldiers had by now, how-
ever, arrived, and he was overcome, though not before he
had killed the aide-de-camp of the War Minister. He was
found to be in possession of four revolvers, two in his
pockets and two in his boots, besides his terrible knife
(known as the camia).
Fearing that this murder of the Ministers was part of a

general movement, I got into communication by telegraph


with my family at Constantinople, and learned from them
the facts. A few days later M. Karapanos came and joined
me, and brought further details of what had taken place at
Constantinople. He also gave me confidential particulars
of the symptoms of the new Sultan's illness.
Murad V., the eldest son of Abd-ul-Medjid and brother
of his more famous successor, Abd-ul-Hamid, possessed a
nature of considerable nobility, and was of superior intelli-
gence. Early in life he delighted in the study of literature
and science, and familiarised himself with Western civilisa-
tionand ways of thought. With such a character he could
not but have aspirations towards liberalism. His father,
MURAD'S CHARACTER 113

before he died, recommended Murad specially to the care


of his uncle Abd-ul-Aziz, and in the first period pf the
latter's reign Murad was given ample liberty, and
nothing was put in the way of the development of his
character.
But, after a time, Murad's intellectual and moral supe-
riority began to annoy the Sultan, who feared his liberal
tendencies and his growing popularity. Abd-ul-Aziz was
especially impressed by the favour his nephew enjoyed dur-
ing the visits they made together, in 1867, to the English
and French Courts and on their return to Constantinople
;

the Sultan insisted on his living a life of strict retirement.


In spite, however, of the close watch kept over his acts,
Murad succeeded in keeping up his relations with a number
of persons in the political spheres of his own country and
with different distinguished personalities in Europe, the
result of which was rather to increase his liberal ideas and

aspirations.
There was, in fact, but one shadow over this portrait of
a future chief of State such as Turkey might well have
hoped to find. Oppressed by the miserable and solitary
lifewhich his uncle insisted upon his leading, he gave way
to some extent to indulgence in alcoholic liquors. This led
to nervous troubles, and helped to bring about the total
eclipse of his once fine intellect.
He showed the first signs of mental derangement on the
very day that Hussein Avny Pasha came to take him to
the Ministry where he was to be proclaimed Sovereign. It
was all his counsellors could do to persuade him to allow
himself to be taken from his Palace to the Ministry of War.
It is to be supposed

if one can presume to try to read

this —
already disordered brain that Murad, in the act
of assuming the sovereign power, was haunted by his desire
to establish a liberal regime —
always an ardent dream
of his —
and by the anxiety for justifying the confidence
which the people had reposed in him. He was obsessed
8
114 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
by the fear of not being able to realise this dream, and so
dissatisfying his people.
When; a day or two after his accession, Abd-ul-Aziz
committed suicide, Murad was struck with a real horror,
which was immensely increased by the assassination of the
Ministers. These events, which might indeed have shaken
a more solid intellect than his, gave a terrible and almost
fatal shock to his troubled spirit. He lost his sleep, and
spent whole nights in walking about the Palace, sending
for the Grand Vizier and others of the Ministers one after
another. Through all his terror and confusion he was
haunted by the fixed idea that he was losing the affections
of his people and that they were discontented he thought
;

he was surrounded by hatred, and that all his proj ects were
doomed to failure. In vain his Ministers tried to assure
him that the people had not lost their hope or confidence in
him. These assurances only resulted in calming him for a
few moments at a time.
One night he sent in great haste for his First Secretary,
Saadullah, and with haggard eyes, and a prey to every
terror, he proposed that they should flee at once to escape
from the rage of the populace, who to his demented ears
were already crying for vengeance against him.
In spite of the personal matters which called for a pro-
longation of my stay at Valona, I yielded to the reiterated
requests of Midhat Pasha that I should go back to Con-
stantinople. As soon as I saw him, the President of the
Council of State made remarks that were almost reproach-
ful on the subject of my conversation with Lord Derby in
London concerning the deposition of Abd-ul-Aziz. Though
submissive in face of his disapproval, I nevertheless insisted
on my first judgment having been well-founded, nor did I
conceal from him my fears of the consequences of what was
now a fait accompli, though hoping that they would not be
realised.
Midhat Pasha and all his colleagues in the Ministry were
ABD-UL-AZIZ'S SUICIDE 115

extremely troubled about the new Sultan's illness. And


they might well be nonplussed to find a remedy Jor the
situation in which they now found themselves —
a Govern-
ment that had assumed such tremendous responsibilities in
face of the nation and of history at so critical a period for
the Empire, when they were powerless to act. Their diffi-
culties were not decreased by the fact that they maintained
absolute silence as to the Sultan's condition, and, to keep
the secret, had to resort to all sorts of subterfuges. As the
Sultan was supposed to appear in public every Friday at
the Selamlik, the rumour was spread, to explain his absence,
that he was suffering from abscesses on the shoulders which
prevented him from donning a uniform. Afterwards he
was taken to the Selamlik, and endless precautions had to be
resorted to to prevent his revealing the true state of affairs
himself.
I did not have a chance at this time of talking to Midhat

Pasha about the facts of Abd-ul-Aziz's death, or of refer-


ring to the story, already current in certain circles, which
alleged murder as the cause rather than suicide. But one
evening, some time later, when we were again talking of the
grave perplexity caused by the madness of Murad, he gave
me and others clearly to understand that he had no doubt
as to the suicide. He declared that Abd-ul-Aziz had really
rendered a great service to the Empire, and had expiated
all the wrong he had done, in dying by his own hand.

This conviction of Midhat Pasha's was confirmed later


by facts told me by persons who had been attached to the
service of the late Sultan until the end. Furthermore, un-
doubted proofs of his having committed suicide were to be
found in the reports of the doctors of all the Embassies,
notably that of Dr. Dixon, attached to the British Embassy,
who, with the other doctors, made a post-mortem examina-
tion. The size and physical strength of Abd-ul-Aziz ren-
dered it impossible for him to have been assassinated with-
out a struggle. Had a struggle taken place, the wounds
n6 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
would never have shown the precise and deliberate character
that in any case, the incisions in the
th^y possessed and,;

veins could never have been carried out by another, even


had he been possessed of the experience and skill of a sur-
geon, in such a as to give the appearance of suicide.
way
A few days after return to Constantinople I was
my
appointed Secretary-General for matters in litigation (les
contentieux) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The illness
of the Sultan increased, and the difficulties of the Cabinet

grew in proportion. Almost every evening Midhat Pasha


and I talked about the situation and about possible remedies.
One day, when I was visiting Sir Henry Elliot at Therapia,
the British Ambassador urged on me the great need of the
Imperial Government's finding a prompt and legal solution
of the difficulty. He suggested the appointment of a
Regency, but I objected that, as the Sultan was at the same
time Caliph, and that, as the loss of mental faculties accord-
ing to the fundamental law implied decay, a Regency was
out of the question. Nevertheless, Sir Henry insisted that
I should draw the Ministers' attention to the impossibility
of prolonging the existing state of affairs. As a matter of
fact, ashe justly pointed out, the Ambassadors and Minis-
ters had for months been waiting for an opportunity of pre-

senting their letters of credence to the Sultan, and this had


stopped the carrying out of all business. How could the
Ottoman Empire keep at its head a Sovereign who was in-

capable ofassuming responsibility or the initiative of


power at a moment when she was terminating a war with
Serbia and Montenegro, and was on the eve probably of a
war with Russia ?
I repeated the British Ambassador's opinion faithfully to

Midhat Pasha and the Grand Vizier. The former agreed


entirely with Sir Henry, but the Grand Vizier pleaded for
more time, as he persisted in hoping in a possible improve-
ment in Murad's condition. Midhat Pasha pushed his
views, and went so far as to threaten to resign from a
SULTAN MURAD'S MADNESS 117

Cabinet which sanctioned its own recommendations in


default of an effective head of the State, thus governing and
reigning at one and the same time.
On thiswas decided to send immediately for Dr.
it

Leidsdorff, of Vienna. He had already once examined the


Sultan, and on that occasion had drawn up the following
report :

"
His Majesty has for some time been suffering from a
stubborn insomnia, caused by the shock of recent events.
This prolonged insomnia, which has finally been mitigated
by suitable treatment, has nevertheless left his Majesty's
nervous system in a state of excitement which for some
time to come will still necessitate much rest, care and treat-
ment."

Now, after this second consultation, Dr. Leidsdorff issued


a more definite report, in which he declared that Murad's
brain was gradually liquefying, and that he believed he
was incurable, though there might be slight temporary
improvement.
Accordingly, in spite of the reluctance of the Grand
Vizier,and the interest all the Ministers had in maintaining
Murad on the throne if it had been possible, the Monarch's
was decided upon.
deposition
Abd-ul-Hamid was the logical successor to his brother,
but Midhat Pasha and the Ministers who had deposed
Abd-ul-Aziz with the idea of bringing about a liberal

regime, insisted
upon obtaining guarantees
preliminary
from the Prince Heir. Midhat Pasha had an interview
with Abd-ul-Hamid at the palace of his mother the Sul-
tanieh Validee, at Nichan-Tach (August 27th, 1876). He
read to him the proposed basis of a Constitution which was
to be drawn up and promulgated Abd-ul-Hamid gave his
;

approval and adhesion under oath.


There remained nothing to do but to carry out the de-
the sacred law
position of Murad in the form prescribed by
n8 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
and the proclamation of the new Sultan. The date fixed
was August 31st.
The evening before I, with others, was at Midhat Pasha's
house at Emir-Ghian, on the Bosphorus, where we were to
spend the night so as to be ready to start early the next
morning for the Old Seraglio, where the ceremony was to
take place. The great poet Kemal Bey, one of the chiefs
of the Young Turks, who was much attached to Murad,
came to supplicate Midhat Pasha, with tears in his eyes, to
postpone the deposition of the Sultan. But this supreme
effort ofa devoted subject fell on ears no longer able to
listen.
The next morning we left on a small steamboat for the

Old Seraglio. En Midhat Pasha read us the Hatt (or


route

Rescript) which he had drawn up for the proclamation.


Abd-ul-Hamid was waiting for us at the Kiosque. The
Ministers, Councillors of State, dignitaries and officers of
the various arms congregated at the Koube-Alti, and there
the Grand Vizier, Mehmed Roushdy Pasha, addressed the
"
Sheikh-ul- Islam in these words, We had a Sovereign who
was an angel. But God, of his Supreme Will, has struck
Mm with an incurable malady which requires of us the
cruel sacrifice of his Sovereignty."
Midhat Pasha also gave detailed explanations concerning
Murad's illness, declaring that everything possible had
been done to cure him. The Grand Vizier asked what the
Cheriat, or the sacred law, commanded in such a case. The
Sheikh-ul- Islam, supported by the Ulema present Seif-ud-—
Din— replied that in the case of persistent madness the
deposition of the Caliph was essential.
This opinion having been noted by the Grand Vizier, and
Abd-ul-Hamid having been declared the new Sultan, all
present followed the Grand Vizier in rendering homage.
The ceremony of the consecration of a Sultan is similar
to the ceremony of Bairam, and after the Ministers have
retired, everybody is admitted to pass before His Majesty,
ABD-UL-HAMID'S ACCESSION 119

dignitariesmixing with the common people regardless of

any question of precedence.


In spite of the official acclamations, the impression caused
by the accession of Abd-ul-Hamid was very different from
the public joy on the accession of Murad. There was on
this occasion —
an atmosphere of sadness almost of mourn-

ing among the populace, and the sounds of the cannon,
far from awakening popular enthusiasm, seemed to arouse
an almost funereal echo.
After the ceremony the new Sultan retired to the apart-
ment where the relics and flags of the Prophet are kept.
Here he prayed for several hours in an affectation of pro-
found abstraction. Meanwhile, Saadullah Bey, the first
Secretary of poor Murad, came and told us of the difficulties
they had met with in trying to make the mad Sultan leave
the Palace of Dolma-Batche, where Abd-ul-Hamid was to
be installed. Murad, though utterly demented, realised
that he was being deposed, and resisted his transference with
great violence. Shefket Pasha, Marshal of the Court, a
very strong man, was obliged to take him in his arms and
put him forcibly in his carriage. He was conveyed to the
Palace of Tchiragan, whence only death delivered him after
twenty-eight years of captivity.
On the two following days the new Sultan left the doors
of the Palace wide open to all who wished to come and
congratulate him, and all classes of the population of Con-
stantinople and the foreign colonies were welcomed. His
manner in receiving was really affable, and impressed all
who saw him at the time. He treated the Grand Vizier
and Midhat Pasha with especial courtesy and charm.
During the Vizierate of Midhat Pasha, Murad was looked
after and treated in a way suited to his rank. His mother,
a person of great energy, not only cared for him herself,
but imposed her will to obtain everything necessary for the
ex-Monarch and his family. Abd-ul-Hamid used to send
delicacies to his unfortunate brother, such as champagne
120 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
and other beverages, sealing them himself with his own seal
to avoid any possibility of foul play.
But political events which followed, and especially the
stupid plot of Ali Suavy, at the very moment when the
Russian Army was before the walls of Constantinople,
combined to change the existence of Murad and his family
for the worse. Ali Suavy, with about a hundred Roumelian

refugees whom he had inveigled into the plot, entered the


Palace of Tchiragan in broad daylight, and by main force
dragged out the unfortunate Murad on the pretence that
he was going to be reproclaimed Sultan. Troops were at
once summoned, and Ali Suavy was killed with several of
his fellow conspirators, while others were arrested. Murad
was found at the head of the staircase with a gun in his
hand.
After this the Sultan took very severe precautionary
measures to avoid any recurrence of such an act.
The long years of captivity in his Palace did not perhaps
affect Murad much, as he was not conscious of the restraint,
but for his son and his two daughters it was a terrible
martyrdom, confined as they were during all those years to

the gilded walls of the Palace with their demented father.


They were not allowed even to show themselves at the
windows, while the Palace was always closely guarded by
troops to prevent any communication with the outside
world. There was a time when Abd-ul-Hamid offered to
let his brother's daughters issue from this cloistral seclusion,
but then they refused to leave their father. For Murad's
son there was no escape.
There were not lacking evil tongues who maintained that
Abd-ul-Hamid was keeping his brother under restraint
wrongfully, and with the knowledge that he was not at all
mad. Many of the State functionaries thought that a
treatment which would allow the unfortunate Murad more
liberty would not only be an act of humanity, but also of
political wisdom. The people would be able to see for
SADIK PASHA'S EXILE 121

themselves the real condition of the crazy ex-Monaixu and


the fables would cease. But the Sultan was inflexible. The
first victim of these efforts was the brave Sadik Pasha, who

was Grand Vizier during the foolish attempt of Suavy, and


intervened in favour of Murad on the recommendation of
the British Ambassador. Discharged from office, he was
exiled to the island of Lemnos, where he ended his days.
CHAPTER VII

1876— 1877
— Russia's hand— My work
The Bulgarian rising and its repression
on the two commissions of inquiry — terrible sights— diffi-
CULTIES with the English representatives— Turkey's new
Constitution— Midhat Pasha Grand Vizier— His difficulties
— The Sultan's duplicity and intrigues.
In spite of the graciousness of demeanour shown by Abd-
ul-Hamid, which was actually a little revolution in Court
etiquette, there were other signs that gave those around
him to understand that the Sultan had a will and intended
to use it, to say nothing of a certain dissimulation behind
his acts. One was the changes in the text
of these facts
of the Hatt —which promised a Constitution compatible
with the aptitudes and the manners of the people which —
were introduced by the Sultan without consulting the
Grand Vizier or even Midhat Pasha, who was the author of
the project. The other point was the spontaneous nomina-
tion of Said Bey (later Pasha) and of Lebib Effendi as first
and second secretaries, and of Damat Mahmoud Pasha
as Marshal of the Court, contrary to the rule so far followed
which required that these functionaries should be nominated
on the proposition of the Grand Vizier.
The Government of the Sublime Porte had two serious
causes for anxiety at this time — the questions of Bosnia
and Herzegovina and of Bulgaria. The first of these ques-
tions, having provoked a war between the Suzerain Court
and the two vassal Principalities, Serbia and Montenegro,
had entered upon what might be called a normal phase, as
122
BULGARIAN RISING 123

the solution depended upon the issue of the war, and that
could only be favourable to the Turkish Army. But the
Bulgarian question possessed very grave dangers for the
Empire.
As soon as I returned to Constantinople, I did my best

to attract the attention of the Ministers to the matter, and


recommended that prompt and efficacious measures should
be taken.
As a matter of fact, the question of Bosnia and Herze-
govina was only raised by Russia in order to distract the
attention of Austria-Hungary and the rest of Europe, and
open a field of action in Bulgaria, where all the Russian
intrigues were concentrated. Mahmoud Nedim Pasha was
the real fomenter of this Bulgarian imbroglio, which Igna-
tieff had been pushing for years with the feeling of certainty

that by this means the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire


would be attained. Whether the Grand Vizier was actuated
by perfidy or by stupidity, I am not sure, but the fact is
that without him Ignatieff would never have succeeded in
attaining his political ends.
In the first place, all the Bulgarian country south of the
Balkans was denuded of the contingents of the regular
army. The requests of the local authorities that troops
might be sent to the different localities of the vilayet
Adrianople were unheeded. Mahmoud Nedim even dis-
charged several of the governors who persisted in pointing
out the gravity of the situation and the need for the pre-
sence of regular troops. He gave explicit orders that the
Bulgarians should be allowed to carry arms, saying it
would be unjust to deprive these poor people of the means
of defending themselves against their stronger and more
numerous Mussulman cohabitants.
All was therefore methodically prepared. The day
arranged for beforehand, May 5th, fete of St. George, which
is a festival throughout the East, the Bulgarian rising began,

the centres of the insurrection being seven villages, Batak,


124 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
Perustitcha, Bratchkovo, Avretalan, and others. Agents
provocateurs, disguised as softas, had been through the
principal Mussulman centres, and had warned the Turks of
the approach of the Muscovites and the coming attacks of
the Giaours, all with a view to the provoking of massacres.
These facts, followed by a number of murders among the
employes of the local authorities and other inoffensive
persons, alarmed the Mussulman public, and threw the
governors of the country into consternation, as they found
themselves deprived of all legal means of repression. A
levee en masse of the Mussulmans was at once proclaimed,
and the suppression of the revolt began with all the horrors
of civil war, in which fanaticism and the thirst for reprisals

played a terrible role. Several thousands of Bulgarians


were massacred, and several dozen villages were burned.
Such was the price of putting down the Bulgarian revolt.
It is unfortunate that the Ministers who succeeded
Mahmoud Nedim were satisfied with putting down the in-
surrection without thought of the consequences of so
terrible a repression.
Eddib Effendi, President of the Cour des Comptes, who
had lived in Bulgaria for a long time during the govern-
ment of Midhat Pasha, was sent to make an inquiry on the
spot, but his report was based simply upon official in-
formation which he picked up in the different centres he
visited.

During the calm of desolation that followed this carnage,


Macgahan, the correspondent of the Daily News, visited the
country, and his attention having been drawn while at
Pazarjik Peshtere by human members being carried away
by the brook, he followed this stream as far as Batak, where
he was confronted by the horrible spectacle which he re-
ported immediately by cable to his paper. This, of course,
provoked a great popular indignation in England, where
Mr. Gladstone started his famous campaign against the
Ottoman Government. Sir A. Baring, Secretary of the
BULGARIAN COMMISSION 125

BritishEmbassy at Constantinople, and Mr. Schuyler, of


the American Embassy, were sent to make an inquiry.
Other investigations were made by Black Bey, former
Minister at Washington, and by Hagiovantchi Effendi,
Councillor of State (a Bulgarian).
The Sublime Porte instructed me to examine the various
dossiersand draw up a report showing the causes and
effects of this terrible business. Secretaries from the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs were placed at my disposal for
the purpose.
The examination of these various reports and sources of
evidence was to convince me that after the suppression of
the revolt, the local authorities had drifted into a most
criminal state of indifference. In a bag containing
thousands of individual reports on the massacres, I only
found one small piece of paper containing two brief lines
about the quashing of the revolt at Batak. As to the
reports of the two last envoyes of the Porte, which I read
with Odian Effendi and my colleague Serkiss Effendi,
Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it was
impossible with such documents to arrive at any truth as
to the facts, which looked to me as if they were likely to
let loose an absolute tempest on the Empire.
In the presence of Sir Alfred Sandison, first dragoman of
the British Embassy, I had a heated conversation with
Midhat Pasha, on whom I urged the absolute necessity of
a serious inquiry. Midhat Pasha went immediately to the
Grand Vizier. He returned in a few minutes, and informed
Sir Alfred and myself of the decision that had been taken
to send a commission of inquiry to the scene of the massacres.
The next day an Imperial order was issued constituting a
commission under the presidency of Saadullah Bey, ex-
Secretary of the Sultan Murad, and consisting of three
Mussulman dignitaries, of whom I was one, and three
Christians. The task of the commission was to assign re-
sponsibilities, to punish the guilty, and repair the material
126 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
damage by settling the peasants of the devastated villages
before the bad season should arrive.
Two days later we left for Philippopolis, where we arrived
on the second day. The reception we met with from the
population of Philippopolis was a rather freezing one.
They looked upon our inquiryas the prelude to a humiliating
reprimand for the Mussulmans. A few days later the pro-
which had been placed at our dis-
prietor of the big house

posal a certain Ismail

Bey fearing public anger, put us
literally out into the street. We had some difficulty in
finding a building large enough and suitable to house all
the staff of the commission.
Having made the necessary arrangements for the rebuild-
ing of the burnt villages and houses, we left for visits to the
different centres of the rising and its suppression. We
began with Batak, which it took us three days to reach.
On our arrival we were received by several hundred women
and young girls lamenting and sobbing and carrying in
their arms, one the head of a woman, another the arm or

leg of a child that had been massacred. The church was


filled with bodies in an advanced state of decomposition,

and we could not approach it for the odour. I never saw


or imagined anything so horrible, and the thought of this
nightmare affects me even to-day. The little hamlet of
Batak, consisting of six hundred houses and several hundred
mechanical sawmills, was in ruins.
We reprimanded the governor of the district on which
Batak depended for having left these bodies unburied for
months, and ordered him to have them interred at once
and to disinfect the church. This was done without delay.
On our return to Philippopolis, Baring joined us in the
capacity of English commissioner, and, accompanied by him,
a few days later we went through the other part of the
stricken district in the region of Kalofer and Derbent
Ouklissura. Getting back once more to Philippopolis, we
settled down to our task, which, inasmuch as we had to
REBUILDING THE VILLAGES 127

render justice at the same time as we were trying to carry


on a work of reconciliation, was at once judicial and ad-
ministrative.
I, had not a few difficulties with Sir A. Bar-
personally,
ing. Although his mission was only to see that the com-
mission was working properly, he was often constrained to

take part in the discussions which we all considered
perfectly natural. Baring, being the first among the
foreigners, and having himself witnessed the horrible results
of these massacres, and drawn up a report based upon the
sad impression he had brought away with him, considered
himself obliged to defend his own assertions every time
the inquiry seemed to be tending towards weakening or
modifying them. So his only desire was to find his own
contentions proved and his recommendations supported.
We, however, who saw above and behind all the abyss
into which theEmpire was being carried through these
terrible events, considered it a patriotic duty to find out
at any cost the primordial causes and in view of the
;

impossibility of effacing that which was ineffaceable, to try


at any rate to attenuate the effects.

Baring on several occasions made reports to the British


Embassy criticising me. His chief, Sir H. Elliot, who
knew me well and appreciated the motives of my acts, ad-
vised him to try and cultivate harmony and mutual under-
standing.
The season was advancing without the burnt villages
having been reconstructed. Lord Salisbury, who was at
Constantinople, complained of this to the Sublime Porte,
who drew the attention of the Commission to the fact. As
a matter of fact, Saadullah Bey, our president, who was a
man of great intelligence and high value, but was not
accustomed to practical affairs, was becoming immersed
in questions of detail and routine. At the request of the
Sublime Porte, I took charge of this practical side of the
affair, and in twenty days' time the seventy villages were
128 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
in a condition to receive their unfortunate inhabitants, who
had scattered all over the locality. Two highly capable
men at Philippopolis, Hadji Hamid and Noury Effendi,
were given the task of building the houses, the necessary
credits being placed at their disposal. The confidence
shown in theMussulman villagers, and the recommenda-
tion urged on them to show their zeal and fraternal good-
will by helping to prepare and transport the materials
necessary for the rebuilding of the villages of their Chris-
tian compatriots, had not a little to do with our arriving
so speedily at the desired result.
So much having been accomplished, I was recalled by the
Grand Vizier to Constantinople to give explanations to
Lord Salisbury and the Embassy concerning the affairs of
the Commission, and at the same time to present the report
on the Bulgarian rising and its suppression. At the capital
I was presented to the Marquess of Salisbury, who handed
over to Mr. Philip Currie, attached to his mission, the task
of taking notes of my explanation. Thus I had the advan-
tage of starting relations with Sir Philip Currie (as he after-
wards became) which lasted until his death. My report,
with all the documents in support of it, after being sub-
mitted to the Council of Ministers, was translated and
despatched to Odian Effendi, who was then in London, in
order to be submitted to the British Government.
In this report I tried to bring out first the fact of an
insurrection which had been prepared long beforehand,
and then the horrors of the reprisals, which had assumed
unjustifiable proportions, under the guise of repression.
The proof of the responsibility of the Government of this

time, which by criminal neglect was the cause of so much


its

unhappiness both for the people and the Empire, was also
clearly set forth, as was furthermore the fact that all their
misdeeds had been already branded by public opinion, which
had abolished the whole regime, including the Sovereign
himself. The number of the victims of the outrages, which
BULGARIAN COMMISSION 129

had been exaggerated to more than 50,000 in different


quarters, was put at its true figure

some 6,000 odd.
Some days before my arrival at
Constantinople, Sir Henry
Elliot had had an audience of the Sultan, in which he told
him of the Queen's desire that those guilty of the massacres
should be punished. A list of the accused persons was sub-
mitted. At the head of them was Shefket Pasha, who had
been sent after the troubles to Slivono as commander of the
hastily mobilised troops. At the same time the good
services rendered on the occasion by several public func-
tionaries were signalised, and the first mentioned of these
was Hyder Pasha, the governor of Slivono. A special com-
mission was constituted, of which I was appointed presi-
dent, to inquire into these cases. Among the members
was a general of division, Djemal Pasha, and a member of
the Council of State, Abro Effendi, an Armenian.
I had several interviews with Sir Henry Elliot as to the
choice of the English commissioner who should accompany
me to Bulgaria on the new commission. I would not have
Sir A. Baring, for reasons which I have indicated above,
and at the Embassy there were no secretaries free at the
moment, as the International Conference was taking up all
their time. Finally we settled upon Mr. Read, British
consul at Rustchuk. In the last interview I had with Sir
Henry we discussed Hyder Pasha. Hyder, who was a
creature of Akif Pasha, Governor-General of Adrianople, and
who was also very intimate with Shefket Pasha, had done
his best to profit by the feeling then ruling in Europe, and

especially in England, for his own ends, his idea being that
he could make Baring and the other foreigners who had
visited the stricken districts believe that he had tried to

prevent what had happened, and that the severe measures


of Akif Pasha and Shefket Pasha were the real cause. It

was in this way that he had got himself placed on the list
of those who had rendered valuable services, which was
submitted to the British Sovereign.
9
130 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
I explained all this to the Ambassador, adding that no

action would be taken against Hyder Pasha since he enjoyed


such distinguished patronage, but that the inquiry would
show the double role he had played, and that the Ambas-
sador would be able to judge of his merits. Sir Henry
Elliot very kindly said that if he were in my place he
would have acted with the same devotion as I had done
in this Bulgarian trouble, but that in the interests of the

Empire he advised me to use a great deal of reserve and


caution so as not to provoke a change of Government in
England, which might bring Mr. Gladstone back to
power !

On
leaving Constantinople I first went to Philippopolis,
where all my colleagues of the Commission, as well as Sir
A. Baring, came to the station to meet me. Baring, who
had received fresh recommendations from the Ambassador,
was very amiable to me, but unfortunately not many hours
had passed before a fresh incident arose between us. The
question was as to the procedure of the trial that was
about to be opened against the accused persons, Ahmeda
of Dospat, Ali Beylouan, Ameda and Toussoum Bey. I

was in favour of adopting the procedure in general use,


according a defender to each of the accused, and giving the
right toexamine the witnesses publicly. Baring, in curious
contradiction to the love of fair play which usually
characterises the English, opposed this plan, alleging that
the witnesses would be afraid of giving their testimony in
public. In face of my reasoning, the President, who had
accepted Baring's views during my absence, came round
to my opinion, and Baring angrily declared that in spite
of his desire to yield to the advice of his chief, he found it

impossible to agree with me.


I quitted Philippopolis the next day for Slivono, and at

Tirnovo Selemli, en route, Mr. Read and my two colleagues


on the work of the other Commission joined me. At
Slivono we found the governor Hyder Pasha ill, or feigning
COMMISSION INCIDENTS 131

to be ill. As I told him he must absolutely accompany us


on the trip we were making to Boyajyck, one of the prin-
cipal villages in theSanjak of Slivono, the inhabitants of
which were attacked and their houses burned, and where
our chief inquiry was to be held, and to Jamboli, he rose
the next day, and two days later we left for these two
places.
The village of Boyajyck contained no place habitable
for us except some stables, and one or two barns contiguous
to the farm of a Dr. Hykimian. Besides the governor, I
had brought with me on this journey the Bulgarian Arch-
bishop I made him always precede us in the villages we
;

visited in order to instruct the peasants concerning our


mission and inspire them with confidence. Shefket was
also placed at the disposal of the Commission to explain
hisown acts on the spot.
The inquiry only few days, but they were like
lasted a

years in my never found myself in such unpleasant


life. I

surroundings. We had to accept the accommodation which


the place afforded, and we were almost sitting in the mud,
while we were in the midst of draughts which alone would
have rendered our work terribly irksome. At every moment
the English commissioner became irritated for some reason
or another, and threatened to go off in a huff. The inquiry
was, however, at last concluded without any other serious
incident. Two small occurrences might have been annoy-
ing, but luckily they had no sequel. A Bulgarian of the
village who was formerly in the service of a Turk suddenly
"
burst in upon us one day and asked me to tell the Kara-
'
bash ("Black Head"), as he called the Archbishop, to
administer the oath that he would tell the truth. He then
testified that theBulgarians had risen in revolt with the
intention of massacring all the Turks, and a number of
other things of the same character. His evidence was in-
scribed and signed by himself, and countersigned by those
present.
132 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
The next day Mr. Read entered the " council chamber "
by the hand this same individual, who
in a fury, leading
had contradicted all he had said the previous evening. Our
duty was manifestly to prosecute this light-tongued gentle-
man for perjury and false testimony, but to avoid gossip we
decided simply to consider his oath and testimony as null
and void and think no more of the matter. Fortunately
Mr. Read raised no difficulty with regard to this arrange-
ment.
The second incident arose out of a remark made by my
colleague, General Djemal Pasha, regarding the young man
who accompanied Mr. Read in the capacity of interpreter.

Djemal Pasha maintained that as this young man was a


Bulgarian, and was mixed up in the national uprising, he
ought not to be present at the sittings. Mr. Read rose in
great anger, and was going out. I had great trouble to

retain him, assuring him that we must have confidence in the


man in whom the representative of the British Govern-
ment had confidence. In this way this incident also
terminated.
The inquiry on the spot and the examination of witnesses
being completed, there remained only the examination of
Shefket Pasha to be gone into. So we proceeded to Jam-
boli, the chief town of the district, for the conclusion of the
inquiry, and to look into other cases with which the Com-
mission had to deal. A small difficulty presented itself in
the case of Shefket Pasha. Mr. Read insisted that he should
not wear his sword in the Commission ;
but as he was a
general on active service, and only accompanied us in order
to give explanations that would help in the work of the
inquiry, we could not ask him to submit to any humiliating
conditions. Still, in order to cut short arguments, I pro-
mised Mr. Read that I would relieve the Pasha of his sword
when he was before the Commission. When Shefket Pasha
had sat down, therefore, I told my servant to take the

Pasha's sword. According to Oriental etiquette, this is an


A NEW SPIRIT 133

Read was
act of politeness paid to a superior officer, so Mr.
satisfied and the Pasha was complimented.
It was while we were at Jamboli that we received the
news first of the nomination of Midhat Pasha as Grand
Vizier, and then of the promulgation of the Ottoman Con-
stitution. These two happy events were celebrated by the
population with great enthusiasm.
Just as I was leaving Jamboli, Hyder Pasha handed me
a sealed letter addressed to me, with the request that I
should not open it until I arrived at Constantinople. I
understood at once that it contained his resignation of his
I had
post, which he considered had become untenable, as
suggested to Sir H. Elliot that it was. At Philippopolis I
found my friend Saadullah Bey in bed with a bad attack
of hysterics caused by several of the accused having been
condemned to death.
The Mussulman part of the population had all revolted

against judgment, which was looked upon as the


this

greatest insult for Islam. On the eve of my departure from


this town, all the Mussulman notables met at the house of

Hadji Arif Aga, where I was also invited, and after dinner
they all joined in begging me to intercede with the Grand
Vizier to have the sentence of death commuted. They de-
clared their readiness to sacrifice their goods and their lives
for the salvation of the Empire in face of the danger of war
which was threatening it.
The promulgation of the Constitution and the inaugura-
tion of the new regime aroused a new spirit in the Ottoman
public, both Mussulman and Christian. The Bulgarians,
even more than the Mussulmans, began to feel confidence
in the new order of things, and to look forward to a new
I had talks
happiness for themselves and the country.
with the leading notables of the place, who assured me of
their unshakeable devotion to the Liberal Empire several ;

of them had accepted posts as governors or deputy-governors


in the Bulgarian country. It will be readily understood
134 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
that, after these spontaneous manifestations of confidence,
it was with considerable joy and pride that I left this
beautiful country to return to Constantinople.
I made a short stay at Adrianople in order to help to

bring about a similar feeling among the population there.


Nor were my efforts fruitless. The next day the whole
population of Adrianople, with the Mufti and the other
Ulemas, the Greek and Bulgarian Archbishops, the head of
the Armenian Church, and the Jewish Rabbi, with banners
unfurled, went in great pomp to the Government Palace,
and requested the Governor-General, Mustapha HassimPasha,
to come down into the court, where they declared that all,
without distinction of race or religion, were united for the
defence of the Empire and its independence, and ready to
make any sacrifices demanded of them. They begged the
Governor to transmit these sentiments to the Sultan, with
£Ti2,ooo, which they had collected on the spot, and the
enrolment of a battalion composed of all the young men
from all sections of the population. On the evening of this
notable day the Governor-General told me about it with
tears of emotion still fillinghis eyes.
On the evening of my had a
arrival at Constantinople I
conversation with the Grand Vizier in the presence of Safed
Pasha, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and of Edhem Pasha,
Ambassador and second delegate to the Confer-
at Berlin,
ence of Constantinople. Giving Midhat Pasha an account
of my mission, I also handed him the letter of Hyder Pasha,
which he instructed me to hand on to the Grand Referen-
dary,
1
with instructions to find a successor for the govern-
ment of Slivono. He told me also to go to Sir H. Elliot
the next day, to explain tohim the resignation of Hyder,
and give him to understand that the acceptance of the
resignation implied no disgrace, since another post had
been reserved for him.
1 The Grand
Referendary's office takes charge of all matters to be
submitted to the Sultan and puts them into proper form.
THE CONSTITUTION 135

When I told Midhat Pasha of the desires and supplication

of the Turkish population of Philippopolis with regard to


the carrying out of the judgment of the Commission on the
accused men, the Grand Vizier, who quite understood the
importance of the fact, despite the objections of the Minister
for Foreign Affairs, sent a telegram to Odian Effendi in
London, telling him to explain to the Prime Minister (Disraeli)
and Lord Derby the political necessity of reducing the
capital sentence. Odian Effendi, who was in London in the
capacity of special and confidential envoy of the Porte to the
Cabinet ofSt. James, carried out his mission with great tact,

asking the Ministers to fall in with the views of Midhat


Pasha as a personal favour to him, as at such a critical
moment he needed to preserve all his influence over the
Mussulman population so as to be able to carry out the
reforms intended by the new regime.
Now that the Constitution was a fait accompli, Midhat
Pasha, thus the first Constitutional Grand Vizier, seemed
to be in enjoyment of the absolute confidence of his sove-
reign and to be master of the situation in Turkey. But,
unfortunately, this did not last long. Difficulties soon arose
in the political sphere, both in the interior and outside of

Turkey, and his position speedily became more and more


precarious.
The Conference, which had assembled at Constantinople on
the proposal of the British Government, who had drawn up
the programme, insisted upon the demands of the Russian
Government with regard to autonomy for Bulgaria and
Bosnia and Herzegovina being accepted. While Midhat Pasha
was struggling against these difficulties, the Sultan, guided
and helped by Said Bey, his first secretary, and by others
attached to his person, did his best to destroy his Grand
Vizier's work of reform and preservation of the Empire.
First he tried to bring disunion among the Ministers and

political men who had taken an active part in the changes


of the two reigns. He carried on continual negotiations
136 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
with General Ignatieff and Count Zichy, the Ambassadors
of Russia and Austria-Hungary respectively, through his
secret agents, to obtain the support of these two Powers,
the upholders of the autocratic principle, for his own
person and throne. In exchange he promised to accept
the undertaking come to between the two Emperors at
Reichstadt.
In a conversation the Sultan had with Lord Salisbury, he
gave the first delegate of Queen Victoria to understand that
if it were not for the opposition of the Grand Vizier, he

would be disposed to accept the proposals of the Confer-


ence. So, too, the heads of the two political parties, the
Young Turks and the Old Turks, were encouraged in their
various views with the sole object of creating opposition
for Midhat Pasha. On the one hand, the so-called
Liberals, encouraged by promises from the Palace, be-
came more and more insistent for the acceptance of
their political views ;
on the other hand, the heads of the
fanatical party created
open opposition by poisoning
public opinion against the regime inaugurated by Midhat
Pasha.
Zia Pasha and Kemal Bey, the poet, were two of the
most militant and dangerous men of this time. One even-
ing, at the house of Midhat Pasha, I took Kemal Bey aside,
and tried to persuade him to be moderate in his acts, which
were likely greatly to harm Midhat Pasha's position. But
my efforts were wasted. He thought he himself was
the master of the situation, and he told me that the
next day he was going to the Sultan, to explain to
His Majesty what the people, of whom he claimed to be
the accredited spokesman, wanted of the new regime. I

told Midhat Pasha of our conversation and of my views


on the matter. Thereupon the Grand Vizier sent me at
once to see the Minister for Foreign Affairs, and to get him
to ask the approval of the Persian Government to the
nomination of Kemal Bey as ambassador at Teheran. This
AGAINST TRIAL BY JURY 137

appointment took place, while Zia Bey was appointed


Governor-General of Syria.
Each time I was at Constantinople during this period
Midhat Pasha made me take part in the discussions of the
Commission which was drawing up the Charter of the new
Ottoman Constitution, over which he himself presided. At
the last sitting the question of trial by jury was discussed.
The Liberal Party strongly advocated its adoption, and
were supported by Djevdat Pasha, who passed for an
authority on Mussulman jurisprudence, and it was almost
adopted under the name of the Oudool. I, however, ex-
plained to them that the Oudool of the Cheriff (or the Mussul-
man law) in noway resembled the jury system, the Oudool
being only an expert on his oath.
As regarded the principle of the jury, I maintained that
it was totally unsuited to the people of Turkey, where it

was necessary, first of all, to make the law felt and accus-
tom the population to respect it. The jury system was
suited to a country whose population were lovers of order,
and who lived in awe and respect of the law. To establish
the jury system in Turkey, where the mere idea of law had
not yet taken root, would mean that crime would go un-
punished. The first thing to be done was to take measures
to prevent specific crimes in the various parts of the country,
and especially to put down the different forms of crime that
were rife in the various localities. In Albania, for instance,
one would never have found a jury to condemn for murder
in the case of a vendetta. Similarly, an Arab jury would
"
never condemn a person accused of the Razzia," or raids
upon neighbours' belongings, just as Turkish juries would
look with indulgence on abductions of young women and
girls. One had an example in Greece, where the jury
system had been tried, and where it was notorious that per-
sons accused of brigandage were invariably acquitted. The
system of trial by one's peers in the countries where it was
established acted in a to mitigate the rigours of the
way
138 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
law, but to relax those rigours in countries where no respect
was entertained for the law at all, would mean its practical
abolition. My arguments, supported by Midhat Pasha,
were found to be so conclusive, that the system of trial by
jury was not adopted.
CHAPTER VIII

1877

The International Conference —


The Powers' demands rejected —

Departure of the Ambassadors Midhat Pasha's difficulties
— —
with the Sultan His exile Letters from Colonel Gordon.

How unfortunate it was that, at a moment when all the


forces and the intelligence of the Ottomans ought to
all

have been united to face the danger that was threatening


the Empire from without, the Palace on the one hand and
the Liberal Party on the other should have persistently
intrigued with the object of paralysing the patriotic work
ofMidhat Pasha for their own ends The important Con-
!

ference of whichI have spoken, when the delegates of the

Sublime Porte submitted a counter proposition, called upon


the latter to accept in its entirety the last formula proposed
by the Russian delegate and approved by the other delegates
on the question of the autonomy of the three Provinces.
As it was impossible as yet to convene the Chamber, the

Porte decided to submit this proposal to a general as-


sembly, which was to consist of the dignitaries and repre-
all classes of the population.
sentatives of January 17th,
1877, was fixed for the meeting of this great council, to
consist of 237 persons.
The evening before the date appointed, Midhat Pasha
summoned me, and I found him in the act of dictating to
the Grand Referendary the declaration which he was to
read at this general council. He passed me the sheets of
this declaration as they were written, so that I could read
them myself, and at the end he asked for my opinion. I
139
140 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
could but approve. After having sketched the history of
all the events since the insurrection of Bosnia and Herze-

govina, he showed clearly and firmly the difficulties which


would face the Empire in case the proposals of Europe,
which had been placed before her with unanimity, were
rejected, and the consequences that might ensue. After
dinner the Grand Vizier, the Minister for Foreign Affairs,
and I were discussing the situation, when a private letter
from Lord Salisbury, brought by a special messenger, was
handed to Midhat Pasha. In this letter Lord Salisbury
gave his view of the gravity of the situation and the danger
which the Empire was running should the proposals of
Europe be rejected. He added that although the General
Council would discuss the question, its decision would really
depend on the opinion and the inspiration of His Highness,
who was thus assuming a tremendous responsibility before
his country and before history. It was an appeal to the

Grand Vizier's patriotism, friendly in form, but almost


threatening in its intention.
The replywas drawn up at once, and sent to Lord
Salisbury by the same messenger. Midhat Pasha gave the
British representative to understand that he thoroughly
grasped both the danger which threatened the Empire
and the responsibility resting on himself personally, but
that he was determined to do his best to save the country
without thought of the precipice ahead in case of his failure.
His hope was based on the faith Europe would have ac-
corded him, and especially on the support he would have
from the Government and public opinion in England. I
must say that Lord Salisbury, during this stay of his in
Constantinople, had always borne himself towards the
Ottoman dignitaries, and especially towards Midhat Pasha,
with a certain hauteur and coldness which did not impress
us very favourably.
Midhat Pasha's own views, expressed to us after tha
despatch of this letter, are worth recording here. Turkey,
THE COUNCIL OF 1877 141

he said, was in need of a radical reform of her provincial


administration. The leading advocate of these reforms was
the Grand Vizier himself, and the Constitution freshly
promulgated was the guarantee for their fulfilment. We
knew that the Cabinet of St. James was only anxious for
the realisation of these schemes, and had full confidence
in the sincerity and capacity of Midhat. After the dissolu-
tion of the Conference, the very programme which we all
desired would be carried out in its entirety without loss of
time, but without outside interference. On this point
Midhat Pasha's intention was formal and complete.
The Grand Vizier discussed the question of finding four
persons capable of occupying the posts of commissaries for
Bulgaria, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, and Governor-General
of the two Provinces. We passed in review the persons
suited to these posts, and my departmental chief, the
Minister for Foreign Affairs, was kind enough to say, point-
ing to myself, "One of the four is before Your Highness now."
The Council assembled the next day under the presidency
of Midhat Pasha. The first speaker was Roushdy Pasha,
ex-Grand Vizier, who said the demand put forward by the
Powers meant the practical abandonment of Turkey's inde-
pendence, and a country that consented to give up its
independence was dead. He should vote for the rejection
of the proposal. Turks, Armenians, and others present
made very patriotic speeches, especially the Vicar of the
Armenian Patriarchate, Monsignor Infiegian, who said that
if the last hour of the Empire had struck, then all Otto-

mans, whatever their race or religion, would prefer to be


buried under the ruins of the splendid edifice that the
Empire once was, than barter away her birthright. This
speech created a very great impression.
Midhat Pasha repeated his fears as to the difficulties and
dangers that would certainly follow the rejection of the
proposals, and asked his hearers to reflect well and weigh
the consequences of the vote they were about to record.
142 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
Then almost unanimously the rejection of the proposals
was voted. Only Prince Halim Pasha, of Egypt, and one
or two others voted for their adoption.
The decision of the Council was communicated to the
Ambassadors by Safed Pasha, Minister for Foreign Affairs
and first delegate to the Conference.
The Conference was thereupon dissolved. The special
delegates, as well as the Ambassadors, all left the capital,
after confiding the direction of the various embassies to
the respective charges d'affaires.
Sir Henry Elliot, who was very popular in Constantinople,
and who left with the rest, was made the object of a special
address from the Turks and the Christians. This address
recorded their gratitude for the kindliness shown by him to
all parties during the long period that he had represented

Great Britain at the Porte, and especially for the interest


he had shown in the Empire and its people during the
deliberations of the Conference. The address was presented
to him by a deputation which went on board the boat just
before it left.

Everyone now knew what were the sentiments of the


Powers that had been represented at the Conference. We
were well aware of the motive for Ignatieff's insistence,
as also the reasons why Austria-Hungary seemed not to
take Midhat Pasha's work seriously. What astonished and
perplexed public opinion in Turkey and in several Western
countries was the attitude of Great Britain. There were
Turks who entertained doubts as to the sincerity of English
policy concerning Turkey, and these attributed Lord
Salisbury's compliance with the views of his Russian col-
league to duplicity. So did some others in other countries.
The representatives of the great Powers having left,
Midhat Pasha set himself to the task of carrying out all the
reforms considered indispensable, and of taking measures
necessary to establish a direct entente with Serbia. Pertev
Effendi, a former official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
POLITICAL ADVICE FROM ENGLAND 143

and an Armenian, was sent on a confidential mission to


Belgrade, and Prince Milan, with whom he put himself in
drrect communication, hastened to accept the views and
wishes of Midhat Pasha for the resumption of his relations
of submission and fidelity towards the Suzerain Court.
Milan seemed to be so disappointed with Russia that he
swore to Pertev Effendi that he would never again seek to
have relations with the Tsar's Government.
In spite of these successes, the attitude of the Sultan
and the Court towards Midhat Pasha became more and
more antagonistic, and the intrigues around him increased
in virulence.
Midhat Pasha was in the habit of receiving after dinner.
Conversation on different questions would be continued
until a late hour of the night, and when every one had left,
he kept me back in order to discuss questions of the day
and to read different documents which particularly in-
terested him. One evening he made me read two letters
which he had received from some political men in England.
In one of them he was advised to get into direct relation-
ship with Prince Bismarck, and to try to interest the
Chancellor in the new political situation in Turkey. With
this end in view, there was question of an Ambassador for
Berlin, and Midhat Pasha mentioned the ex-Ambassador
at Teheran, Youssouf Riza Pasha. I was disagreeably sur-

prised by this selection, but did not say anything. The


other English letter told the Grand Vizier it was advisable
for theEmpire to get into touch politically with the Empires
of the Extreme East, and that he ought to send an extra-

ordinary mission, headed by a person of importance poli-


tically. In the view of the writer of this letter, that
person
ought to be Ahmed Vefik Effendi. As this latter had not
visited Midhat Pasha since the establishment of the new
Constitution, his Highness, interested in the suggestion,
asked me and see Ahmed Vefik on the morrow, to
to go
show him the letter, and ask for his opinion.
144 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
I accordingly went next day to see Ahmed Vefik at his
home at Roumelissa (on the Bosphorus). He received me,
according to his usual custom, in his Turkish dressing-gown
and red slippers. In spite of its originality, he was im-
pressed by the Grand Vizier's action. He agreed with the
views of the writer of the letter, but objected that, as re-

garded himself, his age unfitted him for a mission of the


kind, which ought to be filled by a younger and more active
man. I, of course, reported this conversation to Midhat

Pasha, as also the promise of Ahmed Vefik Effendi to go


and see him very shortly. The promised visit, however,
never took place.
One morning when I was with Midhat Pasha, he told me
of his decision to appoint me Under-Secretary of State for
the GrandVizierate, adding that the Sultan could have no
further reason to object to such an appointment. This
remark made me go next morning to see Said Bey, First
Secretary of the Sultan, and ask him why the Sultan had
so far raised objections to my appointment. Said Bey
replied that the Sultan had only asked that my appoint-
ment should be put off until after the Conference, and that
now there was no longer any objection.
He took the opportunity, however, to tell me His Majesty
was annoyed at the acts and demeanour of Midhat Pasha,
which seemed to him to be incompatible with the duties of
a Grand Vizier. I did my best to defend my chief. The
next day the Sultan, on his own initiative, nominated the
ex-Grand Vizier, Roushdy Pasha, Minister without Portfolio,
and the ex-Minister of Finance, Galib Bey, Senator. Midhat
Pasha refused bluntly to carry out these orders, on the
plea that the number and the attributes of the Ministers
being prescribed by the Constitution, he, as the first Con-
stitutional Grand Vizier, could not lend himself to an act
which was contrary to this charter. Nevertheless, he said
he would be ready to propose his predecessor as First
Senator, and, if he would not take this post, he was ready
GRAND VIZIER VERSUS SULTAN 145

even to give up to him the position of Grand Vizier, and


accept instead his post of Senator of the Empire. As to
Galib Bey, who had been dismissed from the Ministry of
Finance for irregularity in the use of State funds, and was
liable to be the object of a judicial inquiry, he did not con-
sider that he was worthy of the post of Senator. Such
were among the difficulties that made themselves felt be-
tween the Sultan and his Grand Vizier.
Midhat Pasha, as I have said, was resolved to carry out
in its integrity the programme that had been recommended

by Europe, but without the interference of Europe. So


he prepared the organisation of Bulgaria and Bosnia and
Herzegovina, and also began to take measures to give satis-
faction to the other ethnical elements of the Empire. In
accordance with these ideas, a large vilayet of Albania was
created under the name of Kossovo, and Kiamil Pasha
(afterwards Grand Vizier), then Deputy-Governor of Aleppo,
was proposed as Governor-General. Sava Pasha, a Greek
by origin, was appointed Governor-General of the Isles of
the Archipelago, the population of which was almost
entirely Greek.The Sultan opposed the appointment of
Kiamil Pasha, and so a fresh conflict broke out between
him and his chief Minister.
In fact, the Grand Vizier's position became more and
more difficult. While these events were taking place, alarm-
ing rumours were spread about plots or subversive schemes,
which were all pure inventions, intended to discredit the
administration of Midhat Pasha.
One of the chiefs of the Young Turks was Ali Suavy —
the same who was killed during his plot to reinstate the ex-
Sultan Murad, —
as mentioned in a previous chapter who in
the time of Aali Pasha took refuge in London, and then
settled in Paris, where he published a newspaper in Turkish
" "
called ("Liberty"). On the accession of Murad
Riet
he was permitted to return to Constantinople. He reached
the capital after Abd-ul-Hamid had mounted the throne,
10
146 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
and he went to the Sultan and talked to him in a very
the principles which he
strange way, in total opposition to
had for years advocated in his organ, reminding the Sultan
of thesplendours of his ancestors, and advising him to pre-
serve to himself the absolute power, thanks to which so
vast an Empire had been built up. The Sultan, delighted
with such talk, appointed him director of the grammar
school at Galata, where he took up his residence with his
to
English wife. Ali Suavy continued openly oppose
Midhat Pasha and his policy. With this end in view he
tried to form a political party, among those who aided him

being Hallil Shereef Pasha, Minister of Justice, who had


had Suavy since the time when Prince
relations with Ali

Egypt (Hallil's father-in-law) had supported


Fazil Pasha, of ,

Suavy by means of regular subventions. This


Hallil

Shereef Pasha, at the instigation of Suavy, asked for a


to set before His
private audience of the Sultan in order
political aims of his friend,
but when he got
Majesty the
into the presence of the sovereign, he found himself afflicted
with a paralysis of the tongue. He was forced to retire
without having been able to say a word. Midhat Pasha,
"
when he heard the story, could not help remarking, May
all who dare to try and talk against the Constitution find

themselves similarly tongue-tied."


One day, when the Ministerial Council was sitting, Mah-
moud Damat Pasha, Marshal of the Court, and Grand
Master of Artillery, who was one of the chief leaders of the
Palace Opposition to Midhat Pasha, called me over and
took me aside in the bureau of the Grand Vizier, in that
Minister's absence, and asked me to give him details about
the conversation I had had some time previously with the
famous poet, Kemal Bey, and which, according to Mah-
moud Pasha, Midhat Pasha had repeated to the Sultan.
I avoided giving a direct reply, saying it was a conversa-
tion without any importance, the substance of which even
I hardly remembered. But Mahmoud Pasha insisted, and
A STRANGE "MISSION" 147

even told me that Kemal Bey had declared to me on that


occasion that he was working with the object of getting
one of the family of the Grand Cherif, as descendant of the
in
Prophet, proclaimed President of an Ottoman Republic
place of the Sultan. Disgusted as I was with such
malevo-
lent intrigue, I told him it was the first time I had ever
heard such a suggestion from the mouth of a Turk. He
seemed to be extremely excited against Kemal, and so I
tried to calm him by telling him that such rumours at a
time when the country had need of union and concord
could only do harm.
But nothing would stop the venomous attacks on Midhat
Pasha, and it was even stated that he had declared at his
own table that in a short while the Sultan himself would be
forced to kiss his hand !

There ensued, however, a period of calm, and Midhat


Pasha was able to resume more or less normal relations
with the sovereign. In one interview the Sultan told him
of his desire to send presents to the Emperor of Austria,
and asked him to designate someone who could be sent on
such a mission, and who would also be entrusted with con-
fidential communications for the Emperor. The Sultan
wished me to be entrusted with this mission, to which the
Grand Vizier agreed. Midhat Pasha told me of this wish of
the Sultan's, and bade me prepare for the journey and repair
to the Palace in order to take verbal instructions from His

Majesty. I could not conceal my astonishment or my fear

of the disagreeable consequences of such a mission. I

assured Midhat Pasha that, at a time when the Austro-


Hungarian Ambassador had left the capital with other

representatives of the Powers, it would be impossible for


the Emperor to receive presents or a special envoy from
the Sultan. His Highness agreed with this view of the
matter, and submitted my remarks to the Sultan, who,
however, insisted. On
returning the second time from the
Palace, Midhat Pasha told me I should have to go.
148 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
I did not go, however. The remarkable events that
followed prevented the carrying out of the mission. Much
later, Suleyman Bey was sent on this mission, but, as I had
foreseen, neither he nor the presents were received by the
Emperor. And, what was really curious, was that Suley-
man Bey, who was the depositary of the Sultan's confi-
dential communications to the Austro-Hungarian Sovereign,
was not allowed to return to Constantinople, but was ap-
pointed Minister at Bucharest, where he died, without ever
having returned to the capital.
This resumption of relations between Midhat Pasha and
the Palace did not last long. Fresh difficulties arose, and
the Grand Vizier retired to his own house and went no more
to the Porte. At the next Council of Ministers after this,
held as usual on a Sunday, Midhat Pasha was not present.
In the evening the Ministers of War and of Finance went
to his house, while the Minister for Foreign Affairs went to
the Palace to try and bring about a reconciliation. The
two former Ministers prolonged their visit until a late hour
of the night in the hope of receiving a word from the Palace.
A short while after their departure the Grand Vizier received
a letter from the Minister for Foreign Affairs announcing
that everything had been arranged, and that the Sultan
had given him orders to go back the next morning to the
Palace with Midhat Pasha himself. He told me the news
immediately, and we were very pleased at what looked like
a satisfactory termination of the trouble.
The next morning, thinking that Midhat Pasha would
be at the Palace, I remained at home. But very soon one
of the Grand Vizier's servants came to ask me to go im-

mediately to his house, as something had happened to


him. I guessed at once what had happened. In order to
calm my family, I called my mother and my wife, explained
to them what had happened to Midhat Pasha, and recom-
mended them to keep calm should a similar fate overtake
me. I was very pleased when my mother, like the true
MIDHAT PASHA EXILED 149
"
Albanian she was, quietly remarked, That is nothing.
All things can happen to men," and added that she would not
be uneasy.
I then went to Midhat Pasha's house, which was now

deserted by his friends and courtiers. His son-in-law, at


his wit's end, his best to get ready some of the
was doing
exiled Minister's things,which were to be sent to him on
board the boat that was to take him away from the Empire
for which he had done so much. The house, which was on
the heights overlooking the sea, was surrounded by a
battalion of soldiers.
I now learned what had occurred. The first aide-de-
camp of the Sultan had come Midhat Pasha to the
to invite
Palace. On his arrival there he was conducted to the
annexe assigned to the Ministry of the Civil List. He was
received by the commander of the Military Household, Said
Pasha, who told him that by Imperial order he was to
leave the capital and Turkish territory at once, embarking
on board one of the Sultan's yachts, which was already
under steam. The sum of £T^oo was handed to him for
his travelling expenses.
On my return home I was visited by all my friends, and
by many who had simply been attracted by the ceremony
of the installation of the new Grand Vizier.
We sent Mr. Mayers, the former British consul, on board
the yacht to see Midhat Pasha and to advise him, as a
matter of precaution, to quit the vessel at the first port
abroad which she touched at. As a matter of fact, the
exiled Grand Vizier went to Brindisi, where he left the
yacht, and from there proceeded to Naples, whence he
wrote me a long letter. Among other things, he told me
he had procured a copy of Plutarch's Lives, which I had
always advised him to read, and he complained of an
Italian dentist, who, because he had not extracted a tooth,
had extracted j£Ti5o from his pocket !

This exile caused a profound and painful impression, and


150 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
the Ministers, who were at once called to the Palace, gave
vent to their opinions in no measured terms. The Minister
for Foreign Affairs bitterly reproached the Sultan, declaring
that Midhat's exile was a great wrong done to the Empire,
"
since he was the only one who could bring that corpse "
back to life, and he ought to have been kept until that was
done. Even Edhem Pasha, the successor of Midhat, strik-
"
ing his knees, exclaimed repeatedly, What a calamity !

"
What a calamity ! Abdul Hamid's banker,
Georges
Zarifi, was even more violent in his remarks to the Sultan
himself.
The ceremony of the installation of the new Grand Vizier
and the reading of the Hatt took place immediately, and I
was ordered, in accordance with the usual custom, to go
and meet the new Grand Vizier and take part in the pro-
cession as a dignitary of the Sublime Porte. Though I
was not able to conform to this invitation, I went to the
grand hall where the ceremony took place, when Edhem
Pasha, the new Grand Vizier, made his official entry, pre-
ceded by Said Pasha, the First Secretary and bearer of the
Imperial Hatt.
While this was going on, the following proclamation was
posted in the city :

"
Midhat Pasha has inclined towards a life entirely con-
trary to the spirit of the Constitution. While the Sove-
reign, abandoning his sovereign rights, abolished the
regime have taken place show-
of absolutism, certain events

ing that this absolute power given up by the Sultan has


been exercised by other hands. Profiting by the situation,
a few light-headed 1
individuals have formed malevolent

plans against the prerogatives of the Sultan and against


public order— plans which have been translated into secret
intrigues and even corroborated by acts. Although Midhat
Pasha ought by his position to have taken measures to stop
1 An Arab phrase.
LETTERS FROM GORDON 151

the he has, on the contrary, neglected this, and closed


evil,
his eyes to the fact that the regime which had been dis-
carded was exercised under another form."

After the new Grand Vizier's installation, and after I had


gone back to my own office at the Sublime Porte, the first
visit I received was that of M. Onu, first dragoman at the
Russian Embassy. This looked to me like a visit of con-
dolence !

Immediately afterwards the postman of the English Post


Officebrought me a letter from my good friend, Colonel
Gordon, sent from Southampton just before his departure
to return to Egypt. I give this letter here, as well as
another one which I received from Gordon two years
previously, while he was in the Soudan. From the former
letter it will be seen that Gordon's feelings remained the
same as they had been for Turkey, to which he wished to
offer his personal services in case of war. The earlier letter
contained an indirect appeal to me to go and serve with
him in Egypt. I regretted afterwards that I did not do
what he wished, but I was still full of hopes that I

should be able to render useful services to the Ottoman


Empire, to which I was so attached. I was also, unfortu-
nately, unable to follow up his recommendation of his
friend, Colonel Nugent, whom he proposed to replace him.
The fall of Midhat Pasha and the political changes that
ensued were not favourable to adopting such proposals.
The following are the translations of these letters :

I
"
Southampton,
"January 24th, 1877.
"
My dear Ismail Bey,
"
I was very glad to learn through Mr. Butler- John-
stone that you are well, and that you are so highly placed.
152 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
"I am my word given to the Khedive will
sorry that
I am leaving for Cairo
prevent my returning to Turkey.
in four days, and will write you from there to the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs at Stamboul. If you want someone to

replace me, I would recommend to you one of my friends,


Colonel Nugent, C.B., Royal Engineers.
"
(i) He is not
a man who seeks to amass money, or who
would mix up in intrigues (commercial or other).
"
(2) He wants to
do good, and for that he should be
independent.
"
(3) He does
not want to live in idleness, and he does
' '

not like antechambering or aimless ceremonies.


"
(4) He is not
a man to make difficulties if it is desired
that he leave. But I think he will remain if he has no
work. 1

"
Good-bye, my dear Ismail Bey. Be sure and tell
Midhat Pasha, with my respects, that he should follow the
course of action adopted by the Khedive viz., to engage —
good foreigners who are not merely looking for money, and
who will be a safeguard for the Ottoman Government. I
have already told you, you will be a great man. and I still

think it. Keep yourself free from adventurers.


"
Your devoted friend,
"C. G. Gordon.

"
P.S.—The Grand Vizier should ask the British Ambas-
sador to tell him of the services of Colonel Nugent, whom

I recommend to you very strongly.


"
P.S. —
If you ask for Colonel Nugent's services, or if

you see a chance, send him a word."

(An envelope addressed to Colonel Nugent at the War


Office by Gordon was enclosed in the letter.)
1 Gordon's French is not very good, and it is not clear what he means
here.
GORDON ON THE NILE 153

II

"
BEDDEN, 24 MILES SOUTH
" OF
GONDOHORO,
"
"
May 5 th, 1875.
My dear Ismail Bey,
"
I received your letter of December 8th yesterday,
and I was very sorry to learn that you did not receive the
two other letters which I sent you, care of the Minister of
Foreign Affairs at the Sublime Porte it is not my fault. ;

I am very pleased to learn that you are well, and I assure

you that I do not forget you. I am sorry you did not


accept Tultcha. I wish you were here, but I should be
afraid for your health, for the climate is very bad, and, to
tell you the truth, we lack many things to make life com-

fortable. I hope I shall be able to escape a great annoy-

ance in finding the Nile navigable up to the Falls of Mahedi.


That will shorten the route by land from Gondohoro to the
Lake to eight miles instead of a hundred, and you cannot
imagine the difficulty of the journey by land in this country
amid hostile tribes. We
need time to render them sub-
missive, and we have to go very slowly. At present I am
thinking of establishing military posts on the river, and so
bringing the tribes to submission by degrees. I have news
from Tultcha sometimes. That old commission con- l

tinues with its wars and disputes. It seems the house of

Negropontes at Galatz has been taken as the headquarters,


the other house not being good enough. Certainly I think
if you were stronger to resist the climate, you would have

a great future here, for His Highness has surprising intelli-


2

gence, and you would find in him a great help for your
ideas. But I fear the climate. I have battles with the
people in authority ; they will not see that I don't want to
mix in their business, and that their habits don't concern

1
Of the Danube. » The Khedive.
154 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
me in the least. Perhaps later they will understand me.
Thanks to His Highness, I am well enough able to resist
their attacks.
"
Pardon so short a letter, my dear friend, but I have
such a mass of letters to write that I have not the time to
write much. Believe me, my dear Ismail Bey, that I shall
never forget your kindness and amiability, and that I
regret very much that I am not nearer to you.
"
Your friend,
"
C. G. Gordon."

The next day I sent in my resignation, giving as my


reasons that, although I did not desire to judge the act of
the Sovereign in the harsh measure he had taken against
the Grand Vizier, yet, as I had no cause for changing
my views of and appreciation of Midhat Pasha, I pre-
ferred to remain outside the public service. resigna- My
tion was not accepted, and formal assurances were given
me that I had no reason to fear any suspicions on my
account.
Kemal Bey and others were directly after the above
events arrested and tried. For the trial of Kemal Bey the
juge d' instruction came to my house to suggest to me on
behalf of Mahmoud Damat Pasha and the First Secretary,
Said Pasha, what they would like me to say at the trial,
which was neither in accordance with the truth nor with
my I told the magistrate that Mahmoud
personal dignity.
Damat had already been told what I knew of the affair, and
that I would send my testimony in writing to the Court.
When I was summoned to the Court, I repeated my written
testimony before Kemal Bey, who was at first somewhat
alarmed at my appearance, but quickly recovered, and
recognised the entire truth of my statement. This mise-
en-scene ended in the deportation of Kemal Bey to the
island of Chios. Some time later he was pardoned, and
appointed governor of the very island to which he had been
A POET'S BURIAL 155

exiled thence he was transferred to Mitylene, where he


;

died. His body was taken, in fulfilment of his last wish,


to Boulayir, to be interred beside the mausoleum of Suley-
man Pasha, son of the Sultan Orhan and first Ottoman
conqueror of European territory.

H
CHAPTER IX
1877— 1884

After Midhat Pasha's departure The Russo-Turkish War and
— —
Roumania's position The first Parliament An ill-timed
— —
rebellion my seven years of exile the treaty of san

Stefano Midhat Pasha's return, his arrest and trial.

Events in the political world after the departure of Midhat


Pasha were not of a character calculated to bring calm nor
to modify the threatening attitude which Russia had
taken up so ostentatiously. The exile of Midhat Pasha if
anything increased the general disquiet in Turkey as well
as abroad.
It is wrong to suppose that Midhat Pasha desired the war,
or tried to provoke it. Not only did he do his best to avert
such a catastrophe, but he was in perfect agreement with
Great Britain as to the application of the reforms asked for
without the slightest reserve and without any delay such
as could bring about intervention or remonstrance on the
part of the Powers. Great Britain would have done her
best, when these reforms were applied, or when she saw they
were on the way to be applied, to uphold Turkey and pre-
vent a war let loose by Russia and even if Russia should
;

have persisted in her intention to make war, then Europe,


and England especially, would have been on the side of
Turkey. Count Ignatieff, who was the firebrand of the
situation, had undertaken a tour of Europe, beginning
with Athens and paying visits to all the Courts in turn. On
the other hand, Count Shuvaloff, who was in favour of an
entente with Great Britain and the maintenance of peace,
was not less active.
156
WAR WITH RUSSIA 157

The protocol of the London Conference, drawn up and


signed by the six Powers, was submitted to the Porte. It

gave her a fresh credit to show proof of the sincerity of her


undertakings, and was thus now the sole hope of her salva-
tion.
Other patriots, as well as I myself, were delighted with
what seemed to be a solution of the difficulties. But, un-
happily, the Sultan and his chief advisers thought differ-
ently. They feared public opinion, which in their view
would have interpreted the expulsion of Midhat Pasha as a
sacrificemade to the enemy abroad. Their thirst for
popularity led them to take steps that were terrible for the
Empire.
I was extremely astonished to find that my friend, Alex-

ander Pasha Karatheodory, who during the Conference at


Constantinople had worried me with requests to persuade
Midhat Pasha to accept the demands of Russia, now on
this occasion advocated the rejection of the protocol, and
undertook himself to draw up the famous Note of the
Sublime Porte. I did all I could to try and persuade my
chief, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, and the other
Ministers of the necessity of accepting this protocol, which,
in my opinion, was not only harmless, but actually

salutary. When I read the proposed Note, I told them


that in my opinion it would have been ill-placed even in
the time of Suleyman the Magnificent.
In spite of everything, the Note was issued, as if some

relentless fatehad willed it. The war broke out, as was


inevitable. For the second time the question of the neu-
trality of Roumania came up. That country was anxious
to preserve her neutrality, and it would have been of im-
mense advantage to the Empire. I exerted all my strength
and influence to assure it, but the Porte, having learned of
the forced convention between Roumania and Russia, de-
clared war on the former, which seemed to me to be the
acme of political error.
158 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
The first Chamber of Deputies convoked had meanwhile
met at Constantinople. The first matter it had to deal
with was naturally the war and preparations for it. Several
members of the House, working together with a number of
patriots outside it, conceived the idea of constituting a war
committee, which should be entrusted exclusively with the
organisation and preparation of the war the members, to
;

the number of ten, should be elected by the Chamber, and


the President appointed by the Sultan.
The promotors of this idea wished me to be one of the
committee, and came to propose this to me. Touched by
such confidence shown in me, I thanked them, but opposed
their scheme, as it seemed to me that, without having any

practical utility towards achieving the desired end, which


was to handle all questions concerning the proper conduct of
the war, it would possess the serious drawback of taking the
responsibility off the shoulders of the Ministers, who were
the real depositaries of this trust. It seemed to me the

duty of the Chamber was to demand the formation of a


Ministry capable of inspiring absolute confidence in the
country to bring about the successful issue of the war.
Several meetings took place at my house to discuss these
questions, and the chiefs of the different parties in Parlia-
ment came to them. Finally, of 120 members of Parlia-
ment who were then at Constantinople, more than ninety

accepted my view of the matter that is to say, that no
other solution of the difficulty existed than that a Grand
Vizier should be appointed who could form a Cabinet of men
who, like himself, enjoyed the confidence of the country.
We therefore decided to appeal to the Sultan to make one

more sacrifice this time of his amour-propre, as he had
formerly done of his absolutism, to recall Midhat Pasha from
exile and pardon him for any fault he had committed, and
to give him the task of forming a Cabinet. At the last
meeting I drew up a proposed resolution by which the
Chamber was to approach the Sultan in this sense. The
KEMAL BEY EXILED 159

resolution was submitted to the deputies who were at my


— —
house it was on a Tuesday and it was to be signed and
submitted to the Chamber on the following Saturday, in
order to be approved and submitted to the Sultan.
But another event of a most unfortunate character took
place on the Thursday afternoon, after the news of the fall
of Hardahan had been received. A group of softas invaded
the Chamber, and expressed their dissatisfaction at the
manner in which the war was being conducted, demanding
the revocation of the Minister of War and of Mahmoud
Damat Pasha. It was a disastrous contretemps for us all.
The Grand Vizier and the President of the Chamber were
summoned to the Palace the same evening and martial law
was proclaimed. As I read this proclamation I had a fore-
boding that it meant no good for myself.
On the Saturday I went frankly to the Grand Vizier to
ask him to change my position, either by accepting my
resignation orby nominating me Minister at Athens, or
Governor of my native country. The Grand Vizier agreed
to do one or the other of these things, but hardly had I
returned to my office than an officer from the Ministry of
War came to ask me to go to the War Office at once.
I went, and was conducted to the antechamber of the
court-martial, where I found a certain Emin Bey, ex-
chamberlain of Abd-ul-Aziz. Later we were joined by
Ayah Effendi, Counsellor of State, Youssouf Bey, cham-
berlain to and the companion of childhood of Sultan Abd-
ul-Hamid, and a certain Mahir Bey. After waiting for
several hours, another officer came to tell us that by Imperial
order we were to leave immediately for Broussa. The
same night we were conducted under escort to the port of
Sirkedje, where we embarked on board a boat waiting for
us and left for Boudagna. At dawn we arrived at this
place, and were taken by carriage to Broussa, where Vely
Pasha, Governor-General of the vilayet, received us very
kindly. There we learned that our destination was not
160 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
Broussa but that we were each of us to be exiled to a
itself,

different town in Anatolia, the one chosen for me being


Kutahia. We were a good deal annoyed by this informa-
tion, because on leaving Constantinople we had not had the
time to take, nor had we thought of taking with us all that
was necessary for a long journey. The Governor-General,
at our request, asked the Sublime Porte for authority to
help us in this difficulty. But having received no reply
after waiting for three days, Vely Pasha agreed to advance
us a sum of money against a receipt signed by myself and
on the guarantee of my salary in arrears.
It was only from a circular dispatch
later that I learned
from the Minister for Foreign Affairs to the Embassies
abroad that the motive for the severe measures taken
against us was our supposed complicity in the demonstration
of the softas at the Chamber. But as this movement was
calculated to bring to naught my real work, which was a
revolution brought about by the deputies, it will be seen to
what extent the Government was deceived, and that its
treatment of us was really the work of our political enemies.
An agent of the Ministry of War, disguised as a softa,
preceded us all through our journey, and told the people
of the country that we were the men who had given up
Hardahan and sold their brothers to the Russians. The
country folk were so furious against us, that wherever we
passed the night all food was refused us, and the mosques
in the villages, which were the only places where we could
obtain shelter, were stoned. Just before entering the little
town of Pazarjik, a group of wagoners, who were conveying
cereals for the Army, attacked us with knives and revolvers,
and, if it had not been for the energetic intervention of the
mounted gendarmes who were escorting us, we should have
been massacred. Not only did we owe our lives to these
good fellows, but they arrested the ringleaders among our
aggressors, whom we handed over to the authorities at
Pazarjik. The result of the inquiry into their conduct
LIFE AT KUTAHIA 161

which took place in our presence, was that they were put
into prisonand the Governor-General was informed of the
incident.
On myarrival at Kutahia, a house was placed at my dis-
posal by the local authorities, and for more than two
months I stayed there under the guard of a gendarme, who
lived in the same house, while I was deprived of all com-
munication with the outside world. Mine was one of those
strange cases that one meets with rarely even in the
East, in which a political prisoner pays the rent for
his own prison, and even entertains his jailor at his own
cost !

was much touched by the attention of Hadji Ali Pasha,


I
a native of Kutahia, the doyen of the Viziers, and an ex-
Governor-General, who, on retiring, settled in his native
town to end his days. On the occasion of the feast of Bairam
he thought it his duty to come and visit the exile and wish
me a happy fete. He went to the governor first of all to
announce his intention, and proposed that, if the latter wished,
they should come together, which they did. This friendly
resulted in a relaxation of my imprisonment, for
little visit

a day or two later a telegram arrived from the Palace


expressing His Majesty's regret that I had been treated so
severely, and ordering that I should be allowed to go about
the country freely.
The people of Kutahia, who when I first came believed
all that was said about me, and considered me a traitor and

acted accordingly, as soon as they learned the real facts,


changed their attitude completely. I received such tokens
ofsympathy from them during my stay, that I have always
had the pleasantest memories of my exile in this beautiful
and historical land. At first, by the wish of the Sultan,
who had ordered our removal from the capital, we were
allowed to retain our official titles, and receive the salaries
attached to them, but later the President of the Chamber

objected to this arrangement not unnaturally and we

II
162 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
were allowed a monthly subvention paid out of the Civil
List.
I also received income from my forest at Valona, as to

which a Hamburg business house had made a contract


with me for the purchase of the box-wood. These people
accepted certain changes which I asked them to make in
view of my position as an exile, and, taking over the entire
exploitation of the forest, paid me a fixed sum per ton.
This arrangement gave me sufficient to live upon, as well
as providing something over which enabled me to buy a
large estate in the neighbourhood of Eski-Ischehir. I was

thus supplied with an agreeable occupation and ample dis-


traction in a magnificent country, with all the pleasures
that the interior of Anatolia affords.
The fall of Plevna was a terrible blow to the country.
This event was followed by a melancholy procession in the
streets of the town and on the country roads of poor dis-

charged soldiers wending their way homewards, a prey to


abject misery, and many of them literally dying in the
gutter. Deeply afflicted by the sight of these poor crea-
tures, I started a campaign to get their situation improved.
I obtained the adhesion of a number of the notables of the

place, got the necessary funds from the Government, and


we founded a hospital and shelter for these unfortunates.
Despite my exile, I never ceased following with the deepest
interest the progress of the war. I could not help but see,

to mygreat regret, that the Sultan and those around him,


especially his First Secretary, Said Bey, who directed the
entire policy and organised the advance of the armies in
the face of the enemy, took no steps with the view of
benefiting from the first victories which the brave Osman
Pasha gained over the Russians. We knew that at the
outbreak of war Russia had entered into an undertaking

with England on three points first of all, not to extend
her military sphere of action in countries where British
interests existed ; secondly, to conclude peace if Turkey
READING OF AN ENIGMA 163

asked for it before the Russian armies should have crossed


the Balkan chain, and thirdly, not to occupy Constantinople.
Those who directed Turkish policy never even thought of
profitingby these engagements. Even when Midhat Pasha
went to Vienna to try and bring about an intervention,
the Ambassador was reprimanded for the attempt he had
made to arrange an audience for him with the Emperor
Francis Joseph, and Midhat Pasha was constrained to leave
Vienna immediately. The exiled Grand Vizier complained
bitterly of the way his acts were judged at Constantinople,
and also as to the manner in which the war was being con-
ducted. As a matter of fact, Midhat Pasha was knocking
at the wrong door we all knew that Austria's only object
;

was to obtain Bosnia and Herzegovina, as to which she had


already had assurances from Russia, and the Sultan had at
first seemed to be agreeable.

It may well be asked why Turkey provoked this war with

Russia when she might have avoided it, and why, moreover,
once engaged on it, she did not seek to benefit by the first
successes to save her honour and the Empire ? Only those
who lived at the time in this political milieu, and who had
penetrated the secret of the intimate thoughts of this new
Sultan, can solve the enigma.
The Sultan, who had mounted the throne of his ancestors
under such exceptional conditions, and after such a series
of tragedies, thought only of his own personal safety and
the increase of his personal power. After such a tempest
as that which Turkey had just come through, the recovery
of calm and peace for the country would have constituted
such a success for the head of the Government that his
prestige would inevitably have lessened the power of which
Abd-ul-Hamid was so greedy. Again, had the generals of
the Army obtained peace from the Tsar by the force of their
resistance, this would have given them such an ascendency
that the Sultan would have regarded it as an eternal menace
against himself. These are the real reasons why the Sultan
164 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
plunged his country into a war, the issue of which could
not but be fatal to the Empire such are the reasons why
;

he tried to crush his people in order to dominate them.


The Fleet, which was in a position to have the mastery
of the Black Sea, instead of threatening the flanks of the
Russian Army in Bulgaria, or of serving as transports for
the troops, and thereby enabling them to come to the aid
of the victorious Osman Pasha's army, was sent to
the Caucasian coast in order to carry out a demonstration
before Sokhoum Kal6. The elite of the army, under the
command of Suleyman Pasha, instead of being sent to
Plevna by way of Varna and Shoumla, was left to be crushed
before the impenetrable pass of Shipka. All these military
blunders, which one would almost say were committed on
purpose, led to the catastrophe of Plevna, and the triumphal
march of the Grand Duke Nicholas's army on Constantinople,
which was very nearly evacuated, in spite of the presence
of the English Fleet. A
general council, convoked under
the presidency of the Sultan, had already taken this deci-
sion,and the proces verbal of this meeting constitutes one of
the most extraordinary documents of the reign of Abd-ul-
Hamid.
The Treaty of San Stefano was regarded throughout

Turkey as a sentence of death passed on the Empire. In


Asia Minor, where I was in exile, every one was exasperated,
and expected the worst from the state of affairs created by
this peace settlement, which for the moment possessed no

single advantage except to avoid further bloodshed and


further misery among the civil population.
Only the intervention of Great Britain gave the people
a ray of hope, and Lord Beaconsfield, who started an
energetic struggle to revive Turkey, was regarded by them
as a special providence. The Treaty of Berlin, which
radically modified the Treaty of San Stefano, published at
the same time as the Treaty of Cyprus, brought some con-
solation. The application of the clauses of this latter
MIDHAT PASHA'S RETURN 165

treaty was awaited with impatience and confidence by the


entire population of Asia Minor. Colonel Wilson, who was
by this treaty (which placed Asia Minor under military
consuls) appointed Consul-General for the whole of Asia
Minor, and a Major, in whose jurisdiction was Kutahia,
were received by the people with the utmost enthusiasm.
These two representatives of Great Britain visited me,
and on several occasions I had talks with them, and we
were able to exchange views.
Unfortunately the hopes raised by these events were
destined soon to be dissipated. The change of Cabinet in
England and the influence of German politics changed
everything. The sterile threats contained in the instruc-
tions given to Sir G. J. Goschen, Ambassador Extraordinary
at Constantinople, served to increase the irritability of the
Sultan, who thereupon asked Berlin to send him councillors,
who should be given the title of Under-Secretary of State,
and officers for the organisation of
for all the Ministries,
the Army. After that, Asia Minor was overrun in all direc-
tions by these German agents, while engineers from the
same country came and studied the provinces and prepared
plans for the construction of future railways.
Before the last-named events, however, a reconciliation
had taken place between the Sultan and Midhat Pasha, who
was in England. Midhat Pasha was permitted to return
to Turkey, and one of the Imperial yachts brought him to
Crete, where he was to await the orders of his master. Ap-
pointed Governor-General of Syria, he went to Damascus,
where he was visited by Sir Austin Layard, then British
Ambassador. This visit gave rise to fantastic rumours
and to interpretations of the most extraordinary character.
It was even alleged that Midhat Pasha was going to be

proclaimed viceroy of Syria, under the auspices and with


the support of Great Britain. This absurd gossip met with
no faith in the country itself, but on the contrary his rein-
tegration in the service of the Empire raised in every one
166 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
the expectation of his speedy return to power at Constanti-
nople. The hope was increased by his transfer to Smyrna
as Governor-General, which was regarded as the last stage
on the road to the capital.
Owing to the proximity of his new residence to my place
of exile, our correspondence became more constant, and in
his last letter to me he told me he was going to make a
formal demand of the Sultan for me to be reinstated in the
service in his suite.
A little while later, however, Midhat Pasha was arrested
and transferred under escort to Constantinople, to be tried
for the alleged murder of the late Sultan Abd-ul-Aziz. This
is how this news arrived at Kutahia. It was on a Friday,

when a number of my friends and acquaintances, having


learned that Midhat Pasha had been called to Constantinople,
came to congratulate me, believing that this could only
be because he was to be nominated Grand Vizier. Being
myself curious as to what had happened, I went to the
telegraph office to try and learn the truth. The post-master
gave me the copy of a telegram which the English Consul-
General at Smyrna had sent to Colonel Wilson, who was
then on a tour of inspection at Oushak, announcing the
arrest of Midhat Pasha and his temporary replacement by
Kiamil Pasha. Hyder Pasha, the ex-Governor of Slivono,
whose retirement from this latter post I have related in
another chapter, was at this time at Kutahia as governor.
All the time that Midhat Pasha's return to power seemed
to be certain, he could not sufficiently show his devotion
and admiration for him, but now that he learned what had
happened, he broke out into the most unmeasured invec-
tives and imprecations against his former chief.
The arrest of the great Liberal Statesman came as a
thunderbolt to me, and was a cruel deception to the people.
Like all others who knew the truth as to the death of Abd-
ul-Aziz, I never for one moment entertained a doubt con-
cerning the absolute innocence of Midhat Pasha. But we
TRIAL OF MIDHAT PASHA 167

knew that the Sultan would not have arranged this trial
unless he had definitely made up his mind to finish with
Midhat Pasha and had assured himself as to the judgment.
Hence we were convinced beforehand what would be the
fatal issue of the trial. Those who sat on this extraordinary
Court of Justice, which held its sessions in the Palace of
Yildiz, consisted of some who entertained an implacable
hatred against Midhat Pasha, and others who had no
scruples about committing the most monstrous act of in-
justice in order to obtain the favour of the Sovereign. Even
just before the end, the Sultan still wavered as to whether
he should go on with the trial or stop it and reappoint the
accused Grand Vizier, and he would probably have decided
on the latter course, had he not been won over by a par-
ticular enemy of Midhat Pasha, a young chamberlain, who
had arranged the whole mise en scene, and who feared for
his own safety if that Minister should again come into power.
After his and condemnation, Midhat Pasha was
trial

exiled to the Tahif. He was not executed owing to the


able and energetic intervention of Lord Dufferin, then
British Ambassador at Constantinople, following the ex-
citement which the trial created in England, where Mr.
Gladstone in the House of Commons paid a great testimony
to the disappearing statesman.
After this event I lost all hope of ever obtaining any
change in my lot. To cap my misfortunes, some friends in
whom I had reposed the greatest confidence, and to whom
I had entrusted all my interests, thinking me lost for ever,

changed their attitude, and this rendered my financial


position extremely difficult. I had to liquidate all I had

in order to constitute a small capital, with which I hoped


to ensure the livelihood of my family in exile.
I received news of Midhat Pasha,who was confined in the
fortress of Tahif, from Izzet Pasha, who was transferred
from the Hedjaz to the Governor-Generalship of Broussa,
and came on a tour of inspection to Kutahia. He was an
168 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
excellent and honest fellow, but possessed of an original
and eccentric character. He had taken part in the cam-
paign against Ibrahim Pasha in Egypt, and was fond of
recounting the battle of Nezib, and the military merit of
the famous Moltke, who was with the Turkish Army in the
capacity of Chief of Staff. Izzet, who was extremely

superstitious, regulated all his movements by the indica-


tions and instructions he received from his old servant
Emin, who accompanied him everywhere, and would sleep
on a mattress during the audiences given by his master.
Emin was quite mad. On their journeys, when they crossed
a stream, he would throw himself from the carriage into the
water, and then get back to his place beside his master in
the carriage, which would be inundated with the water
from his dripping clothes. The Pasha greeted this as a good
augury. When they were staying in any place, the Pasha
would not dream of leaving it until Emin had announced
that he had been there long enough they left when the
;

spirit guided him. In spite of these and other quaint


and original traits of character, I am grateful to Izzet,
because he made a very favourable report spontaneously
to the Palace concerning myself.
Some months later I received a telegram
from Said Pasha,
now Grand announcing my appointment as Governor
Vizier,
of Mardin (Mesopotamia), and asking me to carry out the
instructions given me by the Minister of the Interior. The
latter,through the Governor of Kutahia, passed me the
Imperial order on the matter, and told me to proceed at
once to my post.
Though I was happy enough at thus reaching the end of
my seven years of exile, I was very dissatisfied as to the

place to which I was being sent. To leave Kutahia with


my family to go and take up a post in the very desert
would have been worse even than exile. I had nothing for it,
however, but to put a good face on my bad fortune, and I
at once sent a reply to the Porte thanking the Sultan, and
RETURN FROM EXILE 169

announcing that I would start for my post as soon as I


should have received a sum of money that was due to me.
A few days later I left for the capital, and as soon as I
landed went to the Sultan's Palace, where I saw the First
Secretary, Riza Pasha, an old friend of mine, who received
me very cordially. I asked him to submit my gratitude
to the Sultan for the pardon he had extended to me. While
I was there, Hadji Ali Bey, the second chamberlain, arrived

and conveyed to me the salutations of His Majesty. The


Imperial permission was also given me to remain at Con-
stantinople as long as I might desire, and to submit to His
Majesty any wishes I might have concerning my own future.
The next day, which was a Friday, I went to the house
of the Grand Vizier, Said Pasha, and from there to Edhem
Pasha's, Minister of the Interior. Surprised at my unex-
pected appearance, they both hesitated to receive me,
fearing the impression their friendliness might create in
high quarters. Said Pasha asked me to go and see him
the next day at the Sublime Porte. As to Edhem Pasha,
with whom I had been on terms of intimacy, when he met
me in his own garden, he lost his head, and, uttering a cry
of astonishment, without even giving me the time to ex-

plain how I had been received at the Palace, simply turned


on his heel and bolted. On the morrow, however, first
Said Pasha and then his colleague, as they had now had
time to find out the changed attitude of the Sultan towards
me, also altered their manner. The Sultan's conspicuous
amiability to me on this occasion was followed by a re-
markable communique in the papers to the effect that the
Sultan had learned with astonishment that several high
dignitaries of the Empire were still in exile, and had ordered
that they should be allowed to return to Constantinople.
Furthermore, it was stated to be His Majesty's wish that
any other such exiles who might have been forgotten in
this general amnesty were to consider themselves as re-
called. My friends pointed out that this notice was in all
170 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
probability a prelude to the return of Midhat Pasha, who
would in all likelihood be recalled and restored to his rank
and honours. I could not help but feel, on the other hand,
that something underhand and sinister was threatening
him.
As the Ministers allowed me to make choice of another
post than Mardin, which, as I have said, was in the desert,
I lost no time in settling upon the Sanjak of Bolu, which

I had visited during my exile at Kutahia and which suited


me in every respect.This request being granted, I was
nominated governor of this Sanjak, and left a few days later
for my post, where I arrived on the fourth day.
CHAPTER X
1884— 1890
As Governor of Bolu — —
Death of Midhat Pasha The character of

a patriot Political atmosphere under Abd-ul-Hamid Prob- —

lems at Bolu Putting down brigandage How I dealt with —

the Circassians Administrative reforms.

The Sanjak of Bolu is the eastern portion of the ancient


Bithynia ; the chief town is the old Bithynium, later on in

history known as Claudiopolis. It is one of the most im-


portant Sanjaks of the countries in Asia near the capital.
It contains eight districts, with a population of more than

300,000, of whom some 50,000 are emigrants, either Cir-


cassian or of other Caucasian races, who have settled in the
fertile and picturesque plain and forests of Dustche (the old

Duze). One of the chief towns of the district is Bruss-at-


Hypion, over Melen, which was the hunting-lodge of the
Byzantine Emperors, the ruins of which still have an
archaeological interest.
Bolu is a highly cultivated country, and has great wealth
in cattle, especially in Angora goats. The whole of the
northern portion, extending from the mouth of the San-
karius to the frontier of Kastamounia, extremely beau-
is

tiful, and contains great forests and woods


of all kinds and

all sizes there also is the basin of the famous coal-mine of


;

Heraklea. The town of Bolu, in the midst of a delightful


and fertile plain surrounded by wooded and picturesque

mountains, contains many ruins of important edifices built


by the Emperor Adrian in honour of his favourite Antinous,
whose native town it was.
171
172 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
I arrived at post in trie month of May, when the
my
spring heightened the natural beauties of the land, and
all

my pleasure was proportionately great. But this did not


last long. On the second day after my arrival the post
brought me the sad news of the death of Midhat Pasha of
anthrax in his exile in the Tahif. It was the realisation of

my lugubrious presentiments at Constantinople.


The disappearance of this statesman, after so much
suffering, was a terrible blow for me. I lost all taste for

work and all hope for the future of the Empire of which he
had been the real reformer. For weeks I remained a prey
to the deepest melancholy. I despaired of everything

the future, life, and humanity. If a man of such eminence,

of such unselfish and disinterested life, who had done so


much for his country and humanity, could meet with such
treatment at the hands of those who owed him honour and
gratitude, and finally reach such a tragic and miserable
fate —
what, I asked myself, could other mortals hope for or
expect ?
If ever there was a statesman whose value and character

have not been acknowledged and appreciated as they


should be, it was this poor Midhat Pasha, who was a Liberal,
in the very fullest sense of the word. Having lived so long
with him and seen him at work, I was always astonished at
the that was thought of him by Western Statesmen,
little

and, above all, by those who passed for being great Liberals,
like Gladstone and Gambetta. It has only been my long

residence in Western countries, where I have seen at first


hand the workings of their Governments and Parliaments,
that has enabled me to understand the reason.
The Liberals of Western Europe seem to me like the
heirs to great fortunes, who think only of enjoying the
wealth acquired by the efforts and the sacrifices of their
ancestors. In these countries Liberalism is only the label
of a party or a means
of attaining to power. But in the
autocratically ruled countries of the East, in which even
MIDHAT PASHA'S CHARACTER 173

the thought of Liberal ideas arouses conflict and evokes all


kinds of dangers, Liberalism is surrounded with trouble
and risk. It never helps any one to attain to power on ;

the contrary, those who espouse such thoughts run the


risk of losing position and even their lives. These were the
risks that Midhat Pasha willingly incurred. He possessed
the supreme courage of making known his Liberalism at the
moment when any other, having arrived at the height of
his ambitions and power, would rather for his own pre-
servation have shown a certain reserve, for though a States-
man may espouse Liberalism at the commencement of his
career as a means of attaining to power, it is rare for one
to reveal a Liberal spirit when he has got power, and push
it to such a
point as to risk losing all.
Rarely, too, does one meet among politicians with men
who, like Midhat Pasha, far from objecting to the opposi-
tion of others, find a certain pleasure in opposition and
even provoke it. Every time he conceived any fresh
political plan, he hastened to announce and explain it to
his friends and collaborators, not in order to arouse their

admiration, but really and truly to excite criticism. I had


the good fortune of enjoying his esteem and confidence,
and I remember well the pressure he used to exercise to
draw criticisms from me on various political questions that
interested him. Nor was he satisfied with general or
vague approval. Although, as I have said elsewhere, he
had a real genius for administration, he was aware of his
own shortcomings, and succeeded in finding out such
capacity or special traits among his colleagues and sub-
ordinates as would complete his own work. The opposi-
tion of his critics, instead of annoying him, rather added
zest to his efforts. Once at Nish, at the time that he was
Governor-General, one of the notables of the province was
continually attacking him, decrying his work and denounc-
ing him to the Sublime Porte. One Friday, on the occa-
sion of the official reception, as this antagonist manifested
174 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
some surprise at being received among the other notables
and treated with the same consideration, Midhat Pasha
said to him,
"
You are astonished at my reception of you ? Let me
tell you I am very pleased at this opportunity given me
of meeting you, and I am happy that we have arrived at
a point when a Governor-General cannot treat any one ill
simply because he opposes him."
Among many other qualities possessed by Midhat Pasha,
his indefatigable activity and his unbending integrity were
rare in the East. He not only originated and planned all
the projects of reform, but it was he who laid the schemes
before the Councils, and he himself after the sittings of the
Councils even drew up the reports.
I do not need here to speak of his political acts or of

the feelings of equality he entertained for all the races of


the Empire. He was probably the only Turkish statesman
who had no prejudices against the other races and ac-
corded no privileges to the dominant race. On the eve of
the deposition of Abd-ul-Aziz, he sent word confidentially
in the night to the three Patriarchs, inviting them to be
present at the ceremony of the proclamation of the new
Sultan. On his appointment to the Grand Vizierate after
the proclamation of the Constitution, the first official visit
he made was to the Patriarchs, and it was the first time in
the history of the Empire that a Grand Vizier had visited
these dignitaries.
The political atmosphere that had ruled since the acces-
sion of Abd-ul-Hamid, added to the results of the disastrous
Russo-Turkish war, had already changed the face of the
whole country especially were the workings of the central
;

and provincial administrations transformed.


My life of exile during the first seven years of this reign,
although I felt that there were considerable changes for
the worse, had not permitted me to obtain any proper
opportunity of measuring the enormous change which had
ORGANISED BRIGANDAGE 175

resulted in the governmentof the country. But from the


very day that returned to active service and took up the
I

administration of this province, I was struck and depressed


at the moral degradation which I found in all governmental
spheres.
of attaching to himself elements
The Sultan thought only
in the branches of the administration by breaking all
all

the traditions and upsetting all the rules which had so far
obtained. Functionaries and employes of the State of all
classes and all grades were free to do what they pleased
on condition only that they gave proofs of fidelity and
devotion to the Sovereign. Everywhere existed abuse,
corruption, and disorganisation of all kinds, to the disad-
vantage of the country and the inhabitants.
In the province of Bolu, which is so near to the capital,
and whence a great number of the personnel of the Palace
was recruited, such as cooks, boatmen, and others, the per-
nicious influence of the Palace was so great that abuse was
organised everywhere, and a nexus of corruption was estab-
lished between the governors, the civil, financial, and judicial
functionaries, and the notables representing the population,
with a view to plunder, and all was done openly. Each
district enjoyed the attentions of one or more bands of

brigands, who were organised and protected by the chiefs


of the local authority and the gendarmerie as well as by
members of the council of the country. Brigandage, in-
deed,was practised as an organised industry, a due pro-
portion of the proceeds being paid over to the representa-
tives of the public authority and their local agents. The
country was divided into three zones of influence for brig-
andage. The first zone, comprising the environs of Bolu
and its neighbourhood, was the prey of the band of Zay-
bekolu. The district of Ghered6, with the north, was ex-
ploited by another band, called the Djosh Omer, and the
rest of the country was exploited by the Circassians and
other emigrants.
176 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
I began my governorship by first establishing order in the

administrative service of the chief town and the govern-


mental offices. After that the principal matter to which
my attention was turned was to root out the scandal of the

brigandage, which made impossible to the rural popu-


life

lation as well as to the commercial class. A few days before


my arrival a band of Circassians had attacked and plundered
a caravan between Devrek and Heraklea. A little while
after my installation the same band, reinforced and re-

organised, attacked the Imperial post on the high route


from Angkora, near the district of Gheunuck (dependent
upon Bolu), and stole some valises containing valuables worth
several thousand pounds being sent from Constantinople
to the town of Angkora. About the same time I learned
that the Kaimakan of the district of
— an ex-servantdeputy
GheY^de'
(or governor)
the famous Mahmoud Nedim
of
Pasha— who was a sort
" "
of
partner the Djosh-Omer
of
band, had frequent meetings with the chiefs for the distri-
bution of the booty. Furthermore, it transpired that the
Kaimakan of Dustche" had had a stormy interview with
respect to his share of the plunder with the Circassian band
in the interval between their two different acts of brigandage.
In the face of such an indescribable and intolerable state
of affairs, I sent a telegram to the Sultan himself, setting
forth the situation clearly and frankly, and asking His
Majesty either to give me by telegraph the power and
means of ending the scandal or to recall me immediately.
The reply from the Sultan was to give me instructions to
take all necessary measures to put an end to the situation,
with the announcement that two squadrons of Imperial
cavalry were being sent and put under my orders.
Without waiting for the cavalry, I went myself to Dustche\
where I organised a corps of mounted gendarmerie com-
posed of Circassians. From there I went to Handek, situ-
ated between the two provinces of Bolu and Ismit, where
I convoked all the chiefs of the Circassians (the
Abbazas),
SUBDUING THE BRIGANDS 177

explained to them the gravity of the situation caused by


these impudent attacks, and told them of the Sultan's
categorical orders to me. I gave them to understand that
in cases of this sort all the chiefs as well as the tribesmen
must be considered as accomplices and as actually re-

sponsible for the evil deeds. Attacks of this importance


could not take place without the knowledge of the chiefs,
who alone could make reparation by arresting the culprits
and handing them over to the authority of the Sultan.
His Majesty had hastened to send forces sufficient to deal
with the mischief, which he would increase if there was need
of it to attain the desired ends, but those forces would be

employed rather against the chiefs themselves if their con-


nivance became evident by their not fulfilling their duty of
fidelity to the Sovereign.
In face ofmy obstinacy, they were forced to hand me on
the spot a written engagement to do the necessary. Then

they all left, and a few hours later about midnight
— they
returned, bringing with them the ringleaders of the band
and a large number of the rank and file, besides a consider-
able portion of the booty in gold which had been stolen
from the mails.
On my return to Dustche" I continued the pursuit, still
through the intermediary of the chiefs, and in a few days
the whole band was arrested, with the exception of one
chief, who was believed to have been drowned in the River
Sankarium while trying to escape. Also the entire booty
was recovered and handed over. The Abbazas, a turbu-
lent but impressionable and intelligent race, were so im-

pressed by the presence of the armed force, the promptitude


of the pursuit, and, above all, by the carrying out of the
official promises that had been made, that from that
moment, until my departure from the province, they re-
mained consistently submissive and honest.
I have already had occasion to speak of the character of
the Circassians. They are held in and rendered obedient
12
178 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
to authority by nothing so much as just treatment and
promises made. A few days after my arrival at
fidelity to
Bolu a Circassian chief came to me with a letter from the
famous Tahir Pasha, an Albanian and the chief of the
Sultan's bodyguard. Tahir Pasha recommended this Cir-
cassian tome as a foster brother of Ilias Bey, Master of the
Sultan's Wardrobe. He gave himself up to the authorities,
a repentant criminal, and offered his services to help arrest
his accomplices. In order to be agreeable to my com-
patriot, as also in the interests of justice, I promised the
fellow his liberty. But one market day a telegraph employe"
of Dustch6 recognised my man as the chief of the band
which had attacked the caravan of which he was a member
near Heraklea. He had him arrested and brought to me.
A curious crowd accompanied them. I confess I was per-
plexed. In spite, however, of the stupefaction which the
act was certain to cause among the public, I considered it
advisable to keep to the promise I had made. In forcing
the Circassian chiefs to undertake the arrest of their guilty
compatriots, I announced, by means of posters, that those
who helped to arrest the brigands, even if they were accom-
plices, would be exempt from all judicial proceedings and
punishment, and at the same time would receive a pecuniary
reward of ££40. These promises were faithfully kept, and
those who deserved it received the reward and remained

immune from all judicial annoyance facts which, I am
sure, had more influence on the Circassians than the appear-
ance of the armed force and other parade of authority.
I must say, to the credit of the Circassian race, that dur-

ing the six years of my administration succeeding these


events, not only did they cease their robberies and all
other misdeeds to the prejudice of the native population,
but, recognising the benefits conferred on them by a fair
and just treatment, which was specially suited to their
particular mentality, they became an element of order and
real aid to the authorities. I attribute my own success n
PATERNAL GOVERNMENT 179

the treatment of the Circassians to this frank recognition of


their racial characteristics.They like to be treated chival-
rously rather than by sternness, and one can demand sacri-
ficesfrom them if one has consideration for them. A couple
of episodes which occurred about this time will show the
character of the people.
These incidents helped to give them a belief in me and
in my consideration for them. During my stay at Dustch,6
a Circassian of the locality abducted a young girl to marry
her, but as this abduction took place under conditions con-
trary to the usual rules and customs of abduction for the
purpose of marriage, it aroused indignation and commotion
among the populace. The girl was taken from her ravisher,
who thereupon disappeared. As he was brother to one of
the Circassian gendarmes in my employ, and knew it was
impossible to hide for long, he gave himself up voluntarily.
One night he came to the house in which I was living and
asked to be received. I received him, but instead of put-
tinghim under arrest, I told him that, as he had come to
my private dwelling, I considered it contrary to the rules
of hospitality to detain him, but advised him to go himself
the next morning to the prison, which was the proper place
for him after the act he had committed, and so I let him
go. The next morning he did as I advised, and gave himself
up at the prison. On another occasion a brigand escaped
from the hospital of the prison. I announced the fact to
the chief of his village, inviting him to exert his influence
to bring him back. The fugitive's brother went away,
and a few days later returned from the mountains with the
culprit, who, meeting me in the country on his way to
"
the town, gave himself up to me. Very good," I replied,
" I
thought you would return. I quite understand your
going away was caused by the fever. Now go and give
yourself up to the police authorities." He did so, and
his sentence was not increased, as would otherwise have
been the case.
180 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
As a token of appreciation for my services in putting
down the brigandage, the Sultan advanced me in rank and
conferred on me the decoration of the Medjidie.
Having delivered the people from this scourge, my next
task consisted in inspiring confidence in the population for
the authorities, and in making them understand that their
aim and object was only to mete out justice and fair deal-
ing. This was at first an uphill struggle, as it was difficult
to eradicate from the minds of the people the notion that
the public authorities were there to plunder them.
In the first place, those members of the administrative
councils and who had
of the tribunals of different degrees
bad reputations were removed at the next elections and
replaced by others whose records were cleaner. Further-
more, as I instituted a new system of allowing petitioners
and taxpayers governor and other officials,
free access to the
without having to go through the mediation of their repre-
sentatives, whose services always cost them something,
they came at last to understand the right they possessed
to stand up for themselves.
Another of the injustices under which the population of
Asia Minor suffered was the unequal distribution of the
taxes. Almost the whole burthen was falling on the rural
population, and even among the urban population, who,
in comparison with the former, were favoured, the rich still
came off the better. My repeated representations made
to the Porte to have a revision of the taxation were not
favourably received, but by degrees, through the tax dis-
tribution committees, held annually, over which I myself
presided, I was able to bring about important changes
making the impositions more equitable.
Still another important question was the schools. The
Sultan, who wanted to bring about uniformity of senti-
ment among his subjects, tried to do this through the
education. With this end in view he ordered that one per
cent, of the tithes should be apportioned to the upkeep of
RIGHTING ABUSES 181

the schools, primary and secondary. On the heights of


the old citadel of Bolu a lycee was built, and in the chief
towns of the other districts secondary schools were started
and elementary ones in the villages. Abd-ul-Hamid's whim
was, therefore, of real advantage to the cause of public in-
struction. Another source of revenue was obtained from
the sequestration and application to the purpose of the
primary schools of the income of the Vakoufs, old religious
or public foundations of which the original objects to be
benefited no longer existed, and the incomes of which had
become the perquisites of influential favoured persons or
families. One such I remember was an old Vakouf
devoted to the maintenance of a certain bridge. The bridge
no longer existed, nor did the road leading to it, and the
revenues were paid to a certain notable of the place who
was supposed to use them for the entertainment of travellers
— which he never did.
I succeeded in putting an end to crying abuses in the

working of the mines. Apart from its agriculture and


cattle-rearing, which are the chief sources of its income, the
province of Bolu possesses coal mines and immense forests,
though the defective working and the abuses connected with
them prevented the people of the country from deriving any
benefit. The whole of the population of the littoral was
engaged in the exploitation of the mine of Heraklea, which
belonged to the Admiralty. Each individual was com-
pelled to work a certain number of days per year at the
extraction of coal without pay. Accounts were regulated
between the management of the mine and the mayors of
the various villages, and the amounts of the salaries, fixed
in a very arbitrary fashion, were used to offset the global
taxes of each village. The result was that some who
obtained exemption from the forced labour benefited
more than those who did the work. I remedied this abuse
as far as I could, and incidentally decreased the Govern-
ment expenses.
182 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
A curious incident occurred in 1885, when the question
of Eastern Roumelia came on the tapis and orders were
given for the mobilisation of the army and the calling up
of the reserves. When the reserves, to the number of
six or seven hundred, were drawn up at Bolu prior to start-

ing for Constantinople, they refused to march unless they


were paid their arrears of salary. They had been given
coupons for the amount of this pay, at their last disband-
ment, but these had never been honoured. The commander
of the regiment came to me in great distress, telling me his

regiment refused to march, and the position seemed critical.


I asked him to leave them to me, and after some hesitation
he consented, and I went and talked to the men. I told

them they might go home that they were not wanted at
Constantinople. When in astonishment they protested, I
"
said, No, the Sultan has no need of cowards or of men
who think more of a few piastres than of the honour of
fighting the enemies of their country." The result was a
complete change in the attitude of the reservists, who
handed me their coupons and begged me to see that the
pay was given to their families. Then they announced
their willingness to march.
Having sent my family, which was now growing up, to
Constantinople for their education and for other reasons, I
asked for leave and went to the capital. During my
absence fresh disorders occurred and a new outbreak of
brigandage took place. Abdurrahman Pasha, the ex-Grand
Vizier, who was now Governor-General of Kastamounia, in-
sisted that I should be sent back to Bolu —
if even
only
temporarily, in case there were other projects for me and

I returned, having again received full power to handle the
situation and been given a squadron of the fourth Army
Corps. Some trouble arose over the furnishing of proper
arms to the gendarmes, who complained that they could
do nothing with the old-fashioned Winchesters against the
brigands, who were armed with up-to-date Martinis. The
FOUNDING A NEW DISTRICT 183

Sultan ordered that the gendarmes should be supplied with


Martinis from the Royal Arsenal, but the War Minister
refused, and I had to get the Grand Vizier, Kiamil Pasha,
to intervene.
Order was restored soon after my return to Bolu, and the
brigands, who were tribesmen from Trebizonde, were cap-
tured. I was at Bartin, when I was informed by the
Sublime Porte that I was to be transferred to the Sanjak of
Kirchehir, with permission to go to Constantinople if I
desired. After handing the administration of the Sanjak
of Bolu to my successor, I returned once more to Constan-
tinople, with the firm intention of abandoning the public
service and devoting myself to my private affairs.

During this long period of my administration of Bolu I


was very glad at having succeeded in awakening in the
population of the country a consciousness of their rights by
showing them that the public authorities and their elected
representatives were but instruments for their service.
Being as I was accessible at all times to those who wanted
my help and advice, and insisting until I arrived at a solu-
tion of their difficulties, I became a sort of protector or
father to them
all. I travelled over all the country in my

jurisdiction,even the most remote parts, in order to see the


situation for myself and find remedies for abuses which—
in; the interior of the country were unfortunately not
lacking.
Among others I visited a mountainous region called
Jenidje, the inhabitants of which were all engaged in the
exploitation of the forests and the transport of the wood by
the River Filios. These poor people had become absolute
serfs through the power exercised over them by the wood
merchants and the absence of all real authority. I started
to group the country all round, and formed a district with
a central point. In order to have the Sultan's goodwill for
the new district, I gave it the name of Hamidieh. We were
going to found a new town under this name at the centre
184 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
of the district, or the confluent of the Filios, and a ceremony
was organised on the spot, for which a number of sheep
were slaughtered, according to the Mussulman custom,
prayers being offered for the Sultan, who had sanctioned
this work of order and justice. Everything was going
admirably

unusually well, it seemed to me, as I contem-

plated the magnificent site of the new town when a tele-
graphic order arrived from the Sultan forbidding the foun-
dation of the town. The inhabitants of the neighbouring
town of Devrek, who were jealous of this new creation,
" "
had greased the palm of the Sultan's chef de cuisine, a
native of the locality, who had got this order from the
Sultan. I regretted this contretemps very much, but the

amusing part of the story lay in the sequel. As the people


of Devrek did not keep their bargain properly with the
head cook, he had an order sent to me through the Ministry
of the Interior to force them to pay the sum stipulated on
the promissory note they had given him The irony of it
! !

I did not, of course, carry out the instruction, but, on the


other hand, the next time I went to Constantinople I was
not slow to make this scandalous abuse known.
The population of the East are really honest, docile, and
good-natured, but their great fault is that they are led by
more or less stupid prejudices and by a spirit of hopeless
routine. I had much trouble in getting them to accept

anything new. In spite of the fact that they had the


greatest objection to the construction of new roads and
highways, when these were completed they experienced the
greatest satisfaction in them. The people of this country
traversed by the River Filios were in the habit of
sending their wood down the stream on rafts. I wanted to
get the same system adopted for the River Melen, and
therefore sent for some of the people from the Filios to
"
show the " Melenites the better method of conveying the
wood ;
but these latter would not apply it to the Melen,
pretending that it would not succeed on any other river.
CONVICTION BY EXAMPLE 185

To overcome this obstinacy, I myself went on one of


the rafts that was sent down the rapids. My example
convinced them, although the agitation of the water toss-
ing the planks about gave me a disagreeable douche. The
River Melen is one of the most picturesque watercourses I
have ever seen. Thinking to carry out works to render it
navigable, as there happened to be in the place some
immigrants from Jorouksu, who are very capable boatmen,
especially in the management of rapids, I hired one of
their barges to go up the river as far as the Lake of Ef theme.
The journey took three days. We spent the first night at
a village on the riverside called Beykeny, and there the
boatmen, frightened at the stories of the villagers, told the
engineer who accompanied me that they would go no
further. I only succeeded in forcing them to continue
by
declaring that I was resolved to continue to the end, even
should the journey take a month, and if we were obliged
to wade through the water up to our necks. However, we
completed the journey without any such difficulties.
CHAPTER XI
1890
— 1892

Retirement into private life desired, but not accomplished Indus-
trial AND FINANCIAL ENTERPRISES A COMPLAINT AGAINST ME

Appointment as Governor of Gallipoli A struggle with the

Sultan-— Two months' righting of abuses Governor-General
— —
of Beyrouth Quaint incidents Temporary Government of
— —
Syria Fiscal and other injustices Residence at Damascus —

The Druses and the Noussairi The situation of Syria —
Recall to Constantinople.

On my arrival at the capital, I handed to the Sublime


Porte my resignation of the post to which I had been ap-
pointed, with the request that I should be considered as
being liberated from all obligations regarding further ser-
vice with the Imperial Government. With the expressions
of my homage, I at the same time explained to His Majesty
the reasons which dictated my return to private life. The
Sultan received my communication graciously, and sent
me assurances that I should continue to enjoy his high
esteem.
But, curiously enough, the Ministry of the Interior, very
much troubled at my decision, would not leave me alone,
but repeated their invitation to me on several occasions by
proposing different posts, such as that of Serres in Mace-
donia and Samsoun in Asia Minor. I had some trouble in
resisting this persistent pressure.
I considered it myduty tomy family to give up the
service. Furthermore, had always had an inclination for
I

industrial enterprises, and so I was now enjoying a little


of the liberty which I had always longed for. Before my
186
RAILWAY SCHEMES 187

departure from Bom had bought a mechanical sawmill


I
at the mouth of the River Filios, and the working of this
brought in a certain profit, though it was also a source of
some worry. My new position of independence brought
me into contact with various foreign personages and financial
establishments which were undertaking different enter-
prises in Turkey. I was aided
in this respect on several
occasions by the kindly intervention of the Sultan himself.
Nagelmackers, who was trying to obtain the concession of
the Mondanieh-Broussa and the Banderma-Alachehir rail-

way lines, took me into the association he had formed for


this purpose, as did also a little later Baron Marquard, who
wanted the concession of the Samsoun to Sivas line. I must
express my gratitude to the Sultan, who in a very marked
manner favoured the granting of these two concessions and

put aside the objections made by the bureaucrats of the


day either through jealousy or the spirit of routine.
I cannot, unfortunately, speak as favourably of my two

Belgian associates, who showed very little delicacy when


they were called on to respect their formal engagements
made to me in a business matter.
It was at this time that a Mr. Kaula was trying to get
the concession for the new Salonika-Monastir line, as to
which the Military Commission of Yildiz Kiosk was some-
what unfavourable. As this line interested me particularly
from the fact that it was to be prolonged as far as Valona,
my native town, I thought it a patriotic duty to aid in the
work, and I was able to surmount the difficulties raised,
making it a condition that the Monastir-Valona portion of
the project should be carried out. But in this affair also
my hopes were deceived, and the Monastir-Valona line was

never constructed. The reasons were twofold political and
personal. The Central Powers, of whom Kaula and the
Deutsche Bank were the representatives, did not favour a
line which would serve to drain the traffic of the Balkans
to the Adriatic. Also, the Sultan, who was the owner of
188 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
considerable property at Salonika as well as of the port
itself, was not in favour of a line that was likely to com-

pete with Salonika.


This happy period of my life, in which my activities were
equally beneficial to the country and to my family, was
unfortunately of short duration. A report, or, as it was
" "
called at that time, a journal against me was presented
to the Sultan. This report insinuated that I had earned
over £Tioo,ooo (2,000,000 frs.) from these concessions, a
sum which it was further indicated I intended to use for a

certain purpose I had in view* namely, the deposition of
the Sultan and the proclamation in his place of Rechad
Effendi, his brother. I was supposed to have come to an

understanding with the latter through the agency of my


and the Circassian women of the Prince's
Circassian servants
Palace In spite of the impression which this extra-
!

/
ordinary accusation must have created on the Sultan's
mind, he ordered that an inquiry should be made very
discreetly into the truth of the matter. This inquiry, of
course, showed the Sultan that the charges made against
me were a tissue of lies, but at the same time the accusa-
tion left its traces. I actually showed the Sultan the con-

tracts of association which I had made with Nagelmackers


and Marquard, showing the engagements made between
them and myself and the profits I was to earn out of
the enterprise. I expressed the hope that His Majesty
would approve that a faithful subject should carry out this
work for the welfare of the country, and should reap a
benefit in the same proportion as the foreign associates,
but that if he did not approve, he had only to tear up the
contracts. The Sultan expressed his entire approval of the

enterprise,and returned the contracts to me.


Some time after this, on returning home one day from
an excursion I had made to the Princes' Islands, I found a
letter from the Grand Vizier announcing my appointment
to the governorship of Gallipoli, with orders to go to my
HONOURS FROM THE SULTAN 189

new post as quickly as possible. Next morning I went to


the Palace to submit the matter to the Sultan, and to beg
His Majesty to give orders to the Sublime Porte to cancel
the nomination. But the Chamberlain, Emine Bey, who
was entrusted with this mission, came back to tell me on
behalf of His Majesty that I ought to accept the post,
which would only be a temporary one, and that the Sultan
accorded me the Bala, or the highest civil grade equivalent
to the rank of Vizier. Without thanking the Sultan for
this grade, which at any other time would have been a
source of great satisfaction for me, I continued to refuse the
post of governor of Gallipoli.
The exchange of communications between His Majesty
and myself with regard to this post lasted for months.
Finally one day he called me again to the Palace, and when
there, the Chamberlain, Arif Bey, transmitted to the me
salutations ofAbd-ul-Hamid and his desire that I should
accept the ndmination as a personal friend of His Majesty
and to give him pleasure, rather than as a duty to the
Sovereign. My continued refusal, it was added, would
bear the appearance of an act of insubordination of a
nature calculated to diminish his prestige in the public eye,
whereas, if I
accepted, the Sultan, remembering my willing-
ness, would take care of me in other ways. Pressure was
brought on me to accept this view of the matter, and the
next morning I went back and requested Hadji Ali Bey, the
first Chamberlain, to ask the Sultan what his instructions

would be for me with regard to Gallipoli. Since His Majesty


so insisted on my taking this post, he must have some

particular reason for my going. I was somewhat taken

aback by the reply. Apart from a few commonplace in-


structions, Hadji Ali Bey informed me that the Sultan
wished me to send him from Gallipoli some wild ducks for
hisgarden !

Three months after my nomination, in spite of my


dis-
inclination for the post, I left for Gallipoli, and, arriving
iqo ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
there the next day, began my duties. This province, al-
though not a very large one, with a population of about
100,000, has a special importance on account of its posi-
tion. I was greatly struck by the degradation of the popu-

lation, a large proportion of whom are Christians. Though


I had been over the greater portion of the Empire either in
Europe or in Asia Minor, never had I met a people so
debased in character or so lacking in spirit. A curious
fact about Turkey is that the different countries making up
the Empire show such contrasts in the manners and charac-
ters of their inhabitants. One has to live in the various
countries in order to understand these distinctions and get
an idea as to the remedies for the ills inherent to the dif-
ferent kinds of inhabitants.
In other parts of Turkey the members of the Councils
and the elected judges of the Tribunals, who seem in a way
to consider themselves the representatives of their co-

religionists, mostly assume the task of defending those of


their own faith, utterly regardless of the fact that their
official character ought to enforce impartiality on them.
At Gallipoli, on the other hand, I found the Christian
population so poor-spirited and the councillors so in-
different, that I made it my duty to shake them somewhat
out of their torpor, which was leaving the population at
the mercy of the caprice of some employe of the taxation
bureau or other influential but unscrupulous individual.
As the people lived only by agriculture, they were being
reduced to destitution, from the fact that their fields, their
sole source of revenue, were sequestered for debts con-
tracted towards the agricultural banks or other creditors,
and were put up for auction without ever being either sold or
restored to the owners, although the law expressly forbade
that in such cases the land which constituted the living of
the family should be sold. I stopped all these abuses

through the legal channels and restored the lands to their


proprietors.
WILD DUCK 191

In the course of the trip I made into the interior of the


country, I found in the village of Kavak a large flock of the

variety of wild duck which were tamed. Remembering the


Sultan's request for wild duck, I thought it would be
exactly what he wanted, so I bought up the whole lot

several hundreds —
and sent them to the Palace. Thanks
were returned to me a little while later, with the intimation
that His Majesty hoped also to obtain specimens of a rarer
species of wild duck. I, however, did not continue my

search for these fowl.


Although my stay at Gallipoli was thus forced upon me,
and caused considerable prejudice to my personal affairs,
and although I was there so short a time, yet I did not lose
sight of the importance of this country, which played so
great a role in the history of civilisation and especially in
that of Turkey. Gallipoli was the first territory in Europe
conquered by the Turks. Six centuries before Soliman
Pasha, the son of Sultan Orhan, accompanied by a few
hundred warriors, crossing on rafts, had set foot on the
hill situated between Gallipoli and Bolayir, which bears the

name of Namastepe, that is to say, " Hill of Prayer,"


because it was there that these when they landed,
warriors,
made their first prayer at dawn. This brave and interest-
ing prince, who
died through a hunting accident, was buried
at Bolayir, where his mausoleum, situated on a charming
eminence, forms a great attraction to the traveller. I often
visited this historical tomb and passed the night in the

adjacent apartment, which was set apart for the use of


the governor of the province. It was here I found the

chief of the family of Harami, the descendants of the

shepherd who served as guide to the first conqueror of


European territory on his way to Gallipoli. This Harami
was a poor peasant without any pretension or any know-
ledge of the dignity of his family. I did my best to uplift

him, and to get some of the revenues of the Vakouf of


Soliman increased for him by way of a subvention.
192 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
Beside the mausoleum at this time was a heap of earth
forming the tomb of that poor Kemal Bey, the poet, who,
dying at Mitylene, asked that his ashes should be transferred
to Bolayir to be interred beside those of Soliman, whom
he so much admired and whose glories he had sung. At
my request the Sultan ordered the erection of a marble
tombstone to his memory.
After a two months' stay at Gallipoli, I again sent word
to the Sultan asking to be recalled. A few weeks later I
received notice of my appointment as Governor-General of
Beyrouth. As it was midwinter, I sent my family to Con-
stantinople and I left by the next boat for Smyrna, where
I took the liner for Beyrouth. It was the beginning of

January when I arrived.As there had been several cases


of cholera in the huts of the lazaret, the port and town
were in quarantine, and my landing was surrounded by all
the precautions that the sanitary regulations required.
On leaving Gallipoli there had been nothing but ice and
snow up to our quitting the Gulf of Smyrna, but at Bey-
routh we came upon spring with radiant sunshine, roses
and other flowers filling the air with perfume. I found
in the town Aziz Pasha, my predecessor, who left three days
later for Constantinople, and Vassa Pasha, my compatriot
and former colleague at the Philippopolis Commission, now
governor of Lebanon, who spent his winters at Beyrouth.
It was a pleasure also for me to meet again Colonel Trotter,
the British Consul-General, whom I had formerly known
at the capital. Admiral Wellesley, a charming and inter-
esting octogenarian, was also at Beyrouth, spending
the
winter with his daughter Lady Trotter. The day after the
departure of took place the official cere-
my predecessor
mony of the reading of the Imperial firman appointing me
Governor-General of the Beyrouth Vilayet, followed by the
official reception of the consular corps, when I made the
for
acquaintance of M. St. Rene" Taillandier, Consul-General
France, and M. Gubernatis, Consul-General for Italy.
BEYROUTH 193

In spite of my resentment at
being forced, as it were, to
return to the service, against
my own personal interests, I
must say that the importance of the country of which the
government had been entrusted to me, and the charm of
the city itself somewhat reconciled me to
my lot and en-
couraged me to apply myself earnestly to the accomplish-
ment of my duties. A further source of satisfaction was
that many of my co-workers were persons who had re-
mained since the time of the governorship of Midhat Pasha,
and for whom consequently I had a particular esteem.
Shortly after my arrival, all traces of the epidemic which
had stopped all the business of the country were eradicated,
and I set to work at the organisation of the administrative
services and the carrying out of different works of public
utility.
The town of Beyrouth, which is the chief town of
the vilayet, has this peculiarity, that it is removed from
the rest of the vilayet, being situated on a promontory of
about fifteen square kilometres, and surrounded by country
belonging to the government of Lebanon, so that it has no
direct communication with the Sanjak depending on its

government. To get to the Sanjak and even the cazas by


land necessitates the crossing of Lebanon territory. There
are houses in the town, the gardens of which are outside
the territory of the vilayet. In spite of this curious situa-
tion, which constitutes a serious obstacle to the adminis-
tration and to public order, the harmony existing between
the governors and administrative offices of Beyrouth and the
Lebanon, and the friendliness uniting the various races in-
habiting the two provinces, removed any cause of friction
in the regular
working of the services of the two countries.
A fact, however, which struck me from my first arrival in
the country was the indifference, or rather the " disin-
terestedness," of the population in their public affairs. It
was painful for me to see persons of considerable fortune,
like the Soursouks, the Boustros, the Tuenis, and others,
13
194 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
it to their interest to enter into the service of the
finding
various consulates in an honorary capacity in order to
have foreign protection. I was glad to be able to inculcate
different sentiments into them and induce them not only
to give foreign connections, which could only
up these
degrade them, but also to interest them in the affairs of
the country of which they were the leading inhabitants.
One of my first administrative tasks was to go on with
the works for the port, the studies for which had already
been begun. For this purpose a block of houses forming
the old town of Beyrouth, with narrow old vaulted passages
through which it was difficult to circulate, and which pre-
vented access to the port, had to disappear, and a fine, wide
street was built joining the town and the port. We
succeeded in procuring the sums necessary for the expro-
priation of the houses that it was necessary to destroy.*
Beyrouth, of all towns in Turke*y, possesses the best foreign
schools and the largest number of philanthropic institutions.
Among others there was a French university and an Ameri-
can college. Unfortunately the superiority of these foreign
establishments and the inferiority of the Turkish schools
very often excited jealousies, which resulted in irritation
and pettiness on the part of the local administration. I
could not remain insensible to this galling inferiority of the
Turkish schools, but, while seeking to improve them as far
as I could with the means allowed me by the Government,
at the of the foreigners, who con-
same time the generosity
tributed to the intellectual development of all classes of
the native population, was extremely gratifying. I had
several occasions of expressing my satisfaction with these
educational works to the representatives of France and
America. On one occasion I learned that, in the enclosure
of the American College they were building an annexe
behind closed gates, as they feared opposition from the
authorities. I told the American consul how much I re-
gretted this, and assured him that the local government
A CENSOR'S DIFFICULTIES 195

would give him full authority and even afford him facilities
for any construction they wanted to carry out, the only
condition being that they would respect our authority. It
was at this time, too, that I was able to insist upon the
Sublime Porte's legalising the diplomas given to those who
had gone through the course of the Medical Faculty, and
according authority to practise, which the Porte had hitherto
refused to its own subjects. During all my stay in Syria
nothing occurred, happily, to trouble my friendly relations
with M. St. Rene Taillandier, who appreciated recog-my
nition of the civilising work of France in Syria.
One amusing incident which occurred about this time
will help to show the quaint minor problems with which a
provincial governor has to deal. One day the Jesuit
director of the Arabic newspaper El Bashir came to make a
complaint to me against the Secretary-General of the
vilayet, in whose province it was to act as censor to the
local newspapers, because he insisted upon suppressing the
words " Oum Allah" (" Mother of God"). This Secretary-
General, Hassan Effendi, who had formerly been private
secretary to Midhat Pasha, and for whom consequently I
had a particular friendship, was somewhat irritating in his
exaggerated devotion to his duties as censor. He maintained
that a Mussulman Government could not permit the use
"
of the words Mother of God," and I had the greatest
difficulty in the world to make him understand that the
suppression he was trying to make was equivalent to in-
sisting upon the Jesuits abandoning the principal articles
of their faith !

Curiously enough, this same Jesuit on another occasion


had arranged to perform in the hall of the University a
drama of pre-Mahommedan times which had to do with
Mecca and the Holy Places before the time of Mahommed,
which was a thing offensive to followers of the Prophet.
Hassan Effendi had accepted an invitation to be present,
but when I learned what was going forward, I prohibited
196 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
the play, and the French Consul-General, who came to see
me on the matter, quite understood my objection and
frankly accepted the prohibition.
About this time a French squadron, under the command
of a Vice-Admiral, visited Beyrouth, and the officers
and sailors were officially received by the authorities,
and, apart from the official side of the visit, were very cor-
dially welcomed by the local population. The squadron
was recalled somewhat suddenly before all the demonstra-
tions in their honour had taken place. A little while later
the Italian squadron came, but did not meet with the same
cordial reception, a fact which M. Gubernatis, the Consul-
General, pointed out to me.
In consequence of the death of the Patriarch of Antioch,
Mgr. Spiridon was nominated to the post and was ex-
pected at Beyrouth en route for the seat of his Patriarchate,
which was the town of Damascus. The Arab Archbishops,
and particularly the one of Beyrouth, who did not want a
Greek Patriarch, protested against this election, which they
insisted was defective and illegal. But as the Sultan had
already accorded the berat of investiture to this priest, the
refusal to accepthim would have been an act of disrespect
to the Sovereignon the part of the Arab prelates, and so I
was instructed by the Sublime Porte to calm the efferves-
cence and to make it possible for the Patriarch to be in-
stalled at Damascus. Excitement reigned at Beyrouth,
where the Archbishop exercised a great influence, and this
was increased by the efforts of the Russians, through their
dragoman, a certain Shaharde. Personally I was con-
vinced of the justice of the objections of the Arab element,
and all my sympathies were for the Archbishop of Beyrouth,
but the necessity of maintaining the prestige of the Sove-
reign compelled me to work for a satisfactory compromise,
and succeeded in obtaining the obedience of the Archbishop
I

to the Imperial rescript, after a number of interviews with


him, in which I assured him I would do all I could to uphold
KNOTTY POINTS 197

the Arab cause. But in spite of my reassuring reports to


Constantinople, the Grand Vizier, alarmed by the sugges-
tions of the Governor-General of Damascus, Osman Pasha,
which were exaggerated if not purposely distorted, con-
tinued to have doubts, and warned me of the responsibility
I was assuming in case there were disorders caused by the

arrival of the Patriarch. As, however, I was sure of the


venerable Prelate and of the obedience of the Orthodox
population of Beyrouth, who repulsed all the intrigues of
Shaharde, I telegraphed to the Patriarch bidding him leave
Jerusalem immediately for Beyrouth, and I telegraphed at
the same time to the Grand Vizier to inform him that the
Patriarch would arrive at Beyrouth, where he would be
received by the faithful, and that after the official visits he
would leave for his post without the slightest incident

occurring to mar the event. On the day of his arrival his


reception was just as I had indicated. The Archbishop,
who was beside me at the official visit of the Patriarch,
made a speech in Arabic somewhat violently protesting
against the appointment, of which the Patriarch did not
understand a word, and so everything passed off satis-
factorily and in order.
I now undertook a tjap through the different Sanjaks
forming the Vilayet of Beyrouth in order to study the
country. Leaving on board the stationnaire "Arcadie" (a
former Greek corsair captured during the Cretan insurrec-
tion), I arrived with my party at Tripoli, and landed at the
maritime town, some five kilometres from the actual town
of Tripoli, to which we took the tramway that had been
built by Midhat Pasha during his government of Syria.
An incident happened just after my arrival in this town
which gave rise to extraordinary agitation among the

people, who were all in the streets to witness our arrival.


I was standing at a window of theKonak, or government
building, watching the people, when I saw a big crowd

running towards the building. They stormed the court-


198 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
yard, shouting and furious, and dragging with them a young
Catholic priest. It seemed he had wounded a little boy
of five years of age with an air-gun, and the mother was

carrying this child in her arms. While we were doing our


best to calm the wailing mother and attend to the child's
injury, I had different parts of the town put in charge of
the military in order to prevent any aggression on the
part of the populace either against the convent to which
the priest belonged or to the Christian quarter. When the
crowd had dispersed and order was restored, I was visited
by the French vice-consul and the superior of the convent,
who asked that the priest should be handed Over to him.
According to the laws governing such cases, the priest
ought to have been guarded in the convent in the hands
of his hierarchical superior, but as his leaving the Konak at
the moment, when the public temper was so much aroused,
might have occasioned a serious conflict, I refused their re-
quest, and kept the priest not so much as a prisoner, but
rather as my guest until the affair should be cleared up
and the public informed. As a matter of fact, I soon found
out that although the priest was guilty of imprudent con-
duct in shooting sparrows in the streets of the town, there
had been no aggressive intention on his part, and the child
was wounded by the gun's going off at the moment that
some children were trying to snatch it from him. The
priest was handed over to his superior the following evening,
to be held at the disposal of the police authorities until the
end of the trial.
After a few days spent here, living in tents fixed in a
delightful position between the two towns, and near to
some huge orange gardens, which were in full bloom, we
left forLatakia, stopping en route at the little island of
Arvad, where we visited the walls and buildings and colossal
monoliths of the Phoenicians. As this island is not so
much as a square kilometre in extent, the little town is
highly original and quaint in appearance, its houses being
THE NOUSSAIRI 199

piled one on top of another, with tombs on the


vaults of
the old walls. The inhabitants, whose sole means of live-
lihood are fishing and navigation, are obliged to bring all
they need, even to drinking water, from the town on the
mainland opposite them, which is two miles off. They had
to pay a duty on everything they brought in —
an injustice
which, added to the natural disadvantages of their position,
served to render them miserable indeed. Without further
ado I abolished this unjust tax on the spot, handing the
director of the Customs of the vilayet, who was with me,
an official order, and to the population the decree releasing
them from this nuisance. The act caused such delight
among the people, that all the Arab women went on to the
roofs of their houses and started a loud ululation of joy,
which lasted until after we were out of hearing.
The same evening we arrived at Latakia, where we
began the examination, with a few competent men from
Tripoli who had come with us, of the questions of the
railway and port which were to serve as the beginning of
the lines of penetration into the interior of Syria. While
I was engaged on these studies and the organisation of

other services, I received an order from the Sultan con-


fiding to me the ad interim governorship of the Vilayet of
Syria, and directing me to go to Damascus, the chief town,
before the retiring Governor-General, Osman Pasha, left

for his new post, the Hedjaz.


One thing that struck me during my stay at Latakia was
the unjust treatment meted out to the Noussairi, a tribe
living in the mountains on the Syrian littoral from Lebanon
to Alexandretta. These mountaineers were as a race re-
markable for their physical beauty, but, having been the

objects of persistent persecution for centuries, they natur-


ally felt but little sympathy for their neighbours. Rigorous
measures had frequently to be taken against them by the
Government and every time there was need of repressive
;

measures, these were accompanied by severity out of pro-


200 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
portion to their misdeeds, and most of them, who took
refuge in inaccessible mountains, lost their properties. When
they returned after a certain length of time, these pro-
perties were returned to them, though they were no longer
considered as the owners, but as tenants, and were com-
pelled to pay rent. What was still worse was that these
" "
tenants of their own lands were forced into the bargain
to pay taxes, like the actual proprietors On learning the
!

took steps to remedy this deplorable state of affairs


facts, I

by restoring their lands to them, and ordering the local


authorities to treatthem more justly in future, which I
was sure would not only render them more contented, but
would go far towards attaching them to the Government.
I returned to Beyrouth by the Messageries boat, accom-

panied by Zia Bey, Governor of Latakia, whom I had


chosen to replace me as deputy at Beyrouth during my
stay at Damascus. Osman Pasha arrived at Beyrouth at
the same time as I did. Being in a hurry to get to his new
post, he had not waited for me at Damascus. This poor
Osman Pasha, who was entirely paralysed, was taken in
and out of his carriage in the arms of his servant. When
I went to take leave of him, he asked me to wait for his
servant to come and place him in an erect position. He
was a sad and it must have produced a depress-
spectacle,
ing effect upon the Arabs of the Hedjaz to see a paralysed
man at the head of the government of a country which
needed an active man who could be everywhere. But
Osman Pasha had special titles to consideration at the
hands of the Sultan, for it was during his first governorship
of Mecca that Midhat Pasha and his companion, Damat
Mahmoud Pasha, met with their deaths.
From Beyrouth, crossing the Lebanon and spending a
few hours of the night at Shtora, I arrived on the evening
of the following day at Damascus. I found many old

friends there, among others, General Shefket Pasha, who


had been sent into disguised exile. It was the Sultan's
AN AGED EX- JANISSARY 201

habit to send to these far countries all the persons he


wanted to remove from the capital for personal reasons.
A few days after my arrival Omer Rushdi Pasha, command-
ing the sixth army corps, the headquarters of which were at
Damascus, came to take command in place of Osman Pasha,
who had combined the government of the vilayet with
the command of the Army. As the consuls-general of the
foreign Powers had their residence at Beyrouth, there were
at Damascus only consuls and vice-consuls, the most im-
portant of Mr. Eyres, the British Consul. It was
whom was
during my stay at Damascus that I got to know Mr. Wood,
the former British Consul-General, who had played an
important role in Syria and in Mesopotamia by counteract-
ing Egyptian influence during the Turco-Egyptian war.
He carried his ninety years with vigour, and had come to
the country to settle an affair of some properties which he
owned. He charmed us with accounts of the events of
those times.
But in respect of age, Mr. Wood might be considered a
child in comparison with an ex- Janissary who had been at
Damascus for about a century. He was nearly 150 years
old,having served in the corps of Janissaries under Abd-ul-
Hamid I. It was his custom to make walking-sticks, which

he presented to each new governor of Damascus. I re-


ceived mine and paid him well for it. The old man remem-
bered all the principal events that had taken place during
the reign of four Sultans up to the abolition of the Janis-
saries by Mahmoud II.

Syria is the most beautiful and the most important


country of Turkey in Asia, and yet, in spite of that,
Damascus, which is the capital of the vilayet, and enjoys all
the conditions suitable to the capital of an Empire, when I
was there lacked everything. The government building
was totally unworthy of the importance of the place. There
were no barracks for the Army, no place suitable to lodge
the commander and the staff. There were a few barracks
202 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
in the old citadel in a tumble-down condition, and I was
horrified to discover the condition of the military school,
which annually furnished to the Army more than a quarter
It was an old medresse (seminary) contiguous
of its officers.
to amosque which had been turned into the £cole Militaire.
Not only was there an utter lack of sunshine in this build-
ing, but a watercourse actually flowed through the dormi-
tories,and the place was consequently so damp that the
mattresses and pillows of the pupils were just as if they
had been wrung out in water. I at once informed the
Sultan of this state of affairs, and started negotiations with
the commandant for the construction of a new school.
The sale of some old chateaux on the coast and in the
interior would procure all the funds necessary for the build-
ing of new schools and barracks.
There were many things to study and many projects
worth carrying out in this vast and beautiful country, where
means were not lacking, but, as I was only there as locum
tenens, I waited for the Sultan's decision as to whether I was
to return to Beyrouth after the appointment of a new
governor at Damascus, or whetherI was to remain at the

head of the two vilayets, united as they were before. It


was, as a matter of fact, a mistake to divide Syria into two

vilayets that of Beyrouth with the littoral and that of
Damascus with the interior of the country. This separa-
tion, depriving the latter of the sea and the former of the
hinterland, had the result of paralysing all works of economic
development, which required unity of direction and ad-
ministration. In the meanwhile I limited my activities to
pushing forward current matters and profiting by my stay
to know and study the country.
I was surprised a few days after my arrival at Damascus

to receive a petition from the Deputy Governor of the


Druses, Ibrahim Atrach, who apart from his official posi-
tion was, by his birth, chief of the Druses, and who was in
prison. It appeared that when he had, refused to pay a
RIGHTING WRONGS 203

sum of money to Osman Pasha in recognition of his being


kept in the post he occupied, the ex-Governor put him in
prison. On the day of Osman's appointment as Governor
of the Hedjaz he tried to make an arrangement by accept-

ing £T5oo, and Ibrahim Atrach was going to pay him


in
order to be quit of the matter. On going to the bank, how-
ever, escorted by a police officer, to draw the money, Ibrahim
Atrach met a friend who informed him of Osman Pasha's
transference. Ibrahim thereupon again refused to pay the
money, and he was returned to prison. I had him brought
to me immediately, made him all the apology I could for
the unpardonable conduct of my predecessor, and reinstated
him in his post. I also severely blamed the Secretary-
General, who had carried on the government up to my
arrival at Damascus, and the director of the prison.
In this connection, I learned of another injustice of
which the Druses of Hauran were victims. The tithes

charged upon their crops, instead of being fixed as they


should be at 10 per cent, of the annual amount, were fixed
arbitrarily, and as in most cases the amount fixed exceeded
the total production of the cultivators, these latter had to
purchase an extra quantity in order to complete the amount
demanded. It was this crying injustice which continually
provoked discontent, ending in revolts, suppressed by
means of sanguinary struggles. This matter also I notified
to the Sultan and the Porte, and the next time I returned
to Constantinople spoke seriously on the matter to His
Majesty.
As the fetes of Bairam approached I left Damascus for
Baalbec and its ruins. En route I spent a night at Shtora,
where I saw Mr. Wood for the last time. At Baalbec I
received two invitations to luncheon in the open air one —
from the Moutran family at Ras-ul-Ain at the source of the
little river which went through the town, and the other
from the Bedouins who were encamped in the plains of
Baalbec. Both these banquets were interesting, but the
204 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
second surpassed the other considerably in originality.
Before arrival at the camp we were met and received by
the chief of the tribe and by the Bedouin women, who
danced on camels while juggling with swords. Luncheon
consisted of a roast and rice deliciously prepared, and we
greatly enjoyed it, but afterwards I was somewhat dis-
gusted at being obliged to be present at the successive circles
of feasters who followed us one after another round the
dishes, and at having to watch them eat the rice with their
hands while the grease trickled through their ringers,
which they wiped by rubbing them on their abdomens, over
which they wore long shirts. As it was a question of
etiquette that I should remain, I asked permission to sit
for the rest of the time with my back to this rather primi-
tive banquet. When all had fed, there was a quaint dance
performed by young girls forming a circle round a youth
playing a flute.

Baalbec being half-way to Beyrouth, where my family


had arrived during my absence at Damascus, I went on to
meet them. A day or two later I received news that Reouff
Pasha had been appointed Governor of Damascus and was
to arrive in a few days. It therefore seemed to me useless
to return to that town, and I stayed at Beyrouth, where
the new governor arrived in due course on his way to
his post.

Syria ought to be the most prosperous and flourishing


country in the East, alike on account of the fertility of its
soil and the facility of transporting and exporting its pro-
duce, and by the intelligence and the industrial aptitude of
its inhabitants. But, unfortunately, the unjustifiable neg-
ligence of the authorities, and the vexations the population
had to put up with through lack of security and unjust
taxation, were the causes of the country being extremely
backward. Entire villages had become the private property
of some influential persons or of some governor. In order
to shield themselves from the extortionate taxation, the
MORE ABUSES 205

villagers were compelled to sell their lands and become


tenants. Such transactions were revolting from every
point of view, all the more so as they were contrary to the
law of landed property, which expressly forbids the sale
en bloc of the lands of a village or its transformation into
private property. It was an absolute and pressing duty

for the Government to change such abuses, and it did not


seem to me to be a difficult matter to apply the law by
obtaining the funds for repurchase for the real proprietors
of the ground, and getting security for them in the future
from fiscal vexations. My recall to Constantinople, how-
ever, stopped bringing this project to fruition, and I
my
regretted this all the more, as it would have given a notable
development to the agriculture of the country. The con-
siderable estate of Baron Edmond Rothschild at Safit
came into this category, with the difference that Rothschild,
who had spent millions on it, was contributing to the
development of the wealth of the country, and was giving
the population an example and a stimulus by the estab-
lishment of wine and perfumery industries.
In Beyrouth I came face to face with an extremely
disagreeable incident. There was an under-governor at
Tiberiad who, to avenge himself on a member of the family
of theFrench Consular Agent, his neighbour, for a supposed
had the young man arrested and put into prison.
slight,
As the father, although Consular Agent of France, was a
British subject, a telegram relating the circumstances was
sent to Colonel Trotter and another identical to the French
Consul. A copy of the telegram was handed to me by the
telegraph office, took up the matter immediately.
and I

As it happened to be Sunday, Colonel Trotter and M. St.


Rene Taillandier did not get knowledge of the matter until
the Monday, and when they came to me with a complaint,
I was able to tell them the affair had already been judged,
and the Deputy Governor had been reduced and held for
judgment.
206 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
During my stay at Beyrouth, my compatriot, Vassa
Pasha, Governor of Lebanon, died. He was afflicted with
cardiac trouble, and his condition rapidly grew worse,
leaving no room for hope. As the post of Governor of the
Lebanon was an important one, and local difficulties might
have arisen if it had been left vacant, I thought it best to
advise the Porte of the facts, after having seen the doctor.
To my surprise the Grand Vizier, instead of treating my
communication confidential, wired to Vassa Pasha,
as
asking him was, and then informed me he had a
how he
reply from him saying he was getting better A day or
!

two later the poor fellow died. The Porte entrusted the
interim government of the Lebanon provinces to the Ad-
ministrative Council, but as the council was composed of
the president and ten members, there speedily arose a
conflict between them which stopped all the working of
the administration. I was asked to arbitrate, and suc-

ceeded at last in arriving at a formula satisfactory to


both sides.
The training-ship, with the cadets on board, under the
command of Rear-Admiral Hallil Pasha, later Minister of
Marine, came to Beyrouth, and it was during a banquet
given to them by the Municipality in the public gardens
that I received a telegram from the Sultan recalling me at
once to Constantinople to be placed in charge of an im-
portant mission. Another telegram followed from the
Grand Vizier announcing the appointment of my successor,
and a few days later I returned to the capital. The people
of Beyrouth regretted my departure, I am pleased to say,
but nevertheless the telegram caused pleasure among those
present on the festive occasion I have mentioned, since its
terms led every one to believe I was being called to the post
of Grand Vizier. The town of Beyrouth presented me
with a souvenir album of photographic views of the place
and its monuments bound in massive gold with an emerald
in the centre. On my arrival I considered it my duty to
AN INTERESTING SOUVENIR 207

present album to the Sultan, saying that it was


this

given me not through any virtue of my own, but as His


Majesty's representative. The Sultan returned it to me
with the remark that I ought to keep it as an interesting
souvenir.
CHAPTER XII
1892
My memorandum on the state of the Empire.

On my arrival at Constantinople, I went at once to pay

my respects to the Sultan. His Majesty replied, cordially


welcoming me, and informed me that I should shortly be
informed of the task which he wished to entrust to me. As
it was the end of the summer, it was difficult for me to find

proper quarters for my family, so we installed ourselves


for the time being in a furnished villa in the island of

Prinkipio, a charming locality which enjoys a beautiful


climate.
In the meanwhile the Sultan asked me to submit to him
a report on the general reforms of the Empire and the
policy that ought to be pursued. I prepared a lengthy

memorandum which I submitted to His Majesty, and the


chief passages of which were as follows :

"
The founders of most great Empires, which, as history
shows us, have owed their growth to a series of favourable
circumstances, cannot be compared in the matter of merit
with those who have foreseen and arrested the decay that
inevitably follows the period of an Empire's glory, by
introducing reforms calculated to give it new life and a
fresh impulse to its prosperity, for every Empire that has
carved a path for itself by the sword has at the same time
sown the seed of its decay. In such Empires we find the
descendants of the conquerors who hold the rights and
privileges acquired by the conquests of their ancestors, and
are therefore the privileged class, opposed to those who
208
NEED OF REFORM 209

have to support their domination. The former, sure of


themselves and puffed up with wealth and power, easily
fall into sloth and ignorance the others, forced to make
;

a way for themselves in their effort to overcome the mis-


fortune of their subjection, often achieve a degree of intel-
lectual development which gives them the upper hand
and is among the first causes of the loss of Empires born of
conquest.
There have been few Sovereigns who have had the
'

perspicacity to foresee the approach of such disaster, and


have succeeded in finding remedies to avoid the trouble
by establishing reforms upon a basis of equality.
'
The Ottoman Empireall nations the one that
is of
has most need of reform, and therefore of reformers. It
was Your Majesty's august father who first saw the need
for reforms, and succeeded
in his efforts to apply them. I

am happy say that, having taken over the sove-


to
reign power at a critical moment when, in spite of the
your august father, the Empire had
political successes of
lost power at home and credit and prestige abroad, Your
Majesty was able to cope with a most disastrous war and
to restore order and inspire confidence among the people.
Hence Your Majesty ought to be considered as the sole re-
former of this Empire.
'
Your Empire, by its geographical position and by its

immense natural resources, led by so enlightened a Monarch


as Your Majesty, ought to enjoy a great position in the
world. Unfortunately the manner in which the country is
administered, and the way in which political questions are
treated, are far from equalling the exalted and manifold
intentions of Your Majesty for the success and good of the
country and I fear that you are being deprived of the
;

honour of being the reformer of a great Empire, just as

your people will be deprived of the happiness of benefiting


by a gloriousand prosperous future.
'
I would that all your faithful servitors who love the
14
210 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
country would concentrate their efforts towards making
your reign a source of greatness for the Empire, so that
your august person may occupy a distinguished place in the
pages of history, which will judge your acts and merits
impartially. If we compare the economic and political

situation of your Empire with its past prosperity, which is


shown us by the ruins we pass at every step, with that of
other countries, and more especially with the Balkan coun-
tries, which, yesterday an integral part of the Empire, have
succeeded in a short while in developing themselves in an
exemplary manner, we are forced to the conclusion that if

there has not been retrogression, there has certainly been


unpardonable lack of progress.
"
The most sacred rights of the Empire as regards her
defence, and her most vital interests in general have been
treated with such indolence and indifference that even the
enemies who seek her dismemberment are astonished. The

two most serious questions for the Empire those of Egypt

and Bulgaria remain in suspense. This neglect is causing
the loss of a country like Egypt, which constitutes the
solidest guarantee of Turkey's position in the world and
her right to the Caliphate, as well as the Suez route, the
most important in the world. It is furthermore causing a

change in the friendly feelings of a great Power, of whose


friendliness and aid the Empire always has need, which
might perhaps be forced at an international conference

either as the result of a war, or on some other provocation
— to take measures which would result in Turkey losing
her European position, if not even her capital.
"
The hearts are sore of all Your Majesty's loyal sub-
jects who have the slightest sense of duty, and are able to
foresee to what these things are tending.
"
Since the last war the European Powers have seemed
to abstain from persistent intervention in the internal
affairs of Turkey or in her political questions. This atti-
tude is regarded by the undiscerning as a political success.
RESULTS OF AN ERROR 211

The annoyances resulting from the interferences of Europe


and her imperious recommendations regarding internal
reforms cannot be denied. That portion of the Ottoman
people who reaped some benefit from these recommenda-
tions, feeling grateful towards the foreign Powers in ques-
tion, placed their hope of salvation in them the others re-
;

ceived this continual pressure from abroad with repugnance


as a matter forced on them.
"
Europe, after having for centuries sought out a formula
for the solution of the Eastern question, in the course of
which she took part in sanguinary wars, ended by acknow-
ledging that the best practical solution was the mainten-
ance of the Ottoman Empire, whose territorial integrity
has served as the pivot of the European equilibrium. The
Treaty of Paris, ensuring the independence and territorial
integrity of your Empire under the common guarantee of
Europe, has given the Empire the opportunity of continu-
ing in all security on the path of progress, and of ensuring
means of defence against the eventual aggression of Russia,
who was preparing for revenge. The two great Western
Powers who have sacrificed the blood of their soldiers for
the salvation of the Empire, have also not spared their
money in efforts to develop her wealth and increase her
power.
"It is unfortunate that the last reign, instead of pro-
fiting from all this in a practical manner, committed the

error of relying upon the Treaty, the dispositions of which


change with time and with persons. The extent of this
error and prejudicial results for the
its Empire can be
seen
in the last war and in the difficulties of the present time.
The first effect of the change created in the European situa-
tion in consequence of the French defeat was the abroga-
tion of just that clause which was of most interest to the
Empire. The preponderance and the political hegemony
of Germany changed the views of Europe regarding the
Eastern question. Germany, in order to consolidate her
212 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
new position and to prevent her vanquished enemy, whose
strength was growing with more rapid strides than before
the war, from preparing for revenge, has consistently
tried to create difficulties and problems for each Power.

Knowing that the Eastern question is a source of rivalry


and of jealousies between them, she has used it as a hatchery
of disputes.
"
The two Powers most interested in the East are Great
Britain and Russia, but
just as they differ in their in-
terests, so also they differ in their way of defending those
interests. Russia, though rejoicing in having by her latest
success arrived at the accomplishment of her eternal policy
tending to the dismemberment of Turkey, sees that the
independence of the Balkans obtained at the price of so
much sacrifice, instead of assuring her domination of the
East, has on the contrary barred her road to the Mediter-
ranean and she is now seeking for a favourable opportunity
;

to repair this defect in her previous policy. England, the


mistress of dominant positions in the Mediterranean, which
assure her special interests apart from the integrity of
the Empire, uses Egypt and Bulgaria as the two centres of
gravity of her Oriental policy.
"
Such is what short-sighted people consider to be a
success. Is it not in reality isolation ? And Your Majesty
knows that if isolation for any other State is a sign of
weakness, it is death for the Ottoman Empire.
"
Turkey, as the result of her defeat, has lost the Danube,
the first bulwark of her defence, while through unpardon-
able negligence, she has lost the second line of defence,
the Balkans. Russia, on the other hand, possesses a naval
force in the Black Sea which is capable of seizing the

Bosphorus and the capital and she is preparing a stroke


;

which, Constantinople once in her possession, might finally


settle her accounts with the Western Powers, either as

regards Balkan questions or as regards the Mediterranean.


As to England, it is true that she has assured her route to
A POLICY FOR TURKEY 213

India for the moment by the occupation of Cyprus and of


Egypt. But would these suffice for her to combat the
Russian danger, should this Power, her great rival in Oriental
interests, seize Mesopotamia, or possess a naval force cap-
able of menacing her in the Mediterranean ? If England

could no longer count on the support of Turkey in such


circumstances, her obvious policy would be to create a
new State which would be useful to her in resisting Russian
aggression and such a State could only be formed of
;

the of Egypt, Tripoli, Syria, Mesopotamia,


countries
the Hedjaz, Arabia, and the Yemen, surrounding the
Suez Canal and the Persian Gulf, whose populations are
homogeneous, and are united by language, manners and
religion.
'
I do not hesitate to say that in whatever way the
rivalry between these two great Powers is finally settled,
whether by war or by some compromise, the result must be
evil, if not disastrous, for the Empire and for the Caliphate.
The remedy for these dangers, I need not remind Your
Majesty, must be a wise and far-seeing policy and an en-
lightened and equitable system of administration at home.
As the interests of the Ottoman Empire through her geo-
graphical position touch the whole world, but in a very
particular way the people of the Orient, her foreign policy

should have a double vision a world policy in relation
to the Great Powers and a special policy for the Balkan
States.
'
If we look for a policy that will end the isolation of

Turkey, we shall come to the conclusion that this will


only be arrived at by an understanding with either Great
Britain or Russia. Russia, to achieve her ends, hesitates
before no political measure. She has always admitted the
possibility of an understanding with Turkey as a means of
arriving at her objects. Since the war the sentiments of
the Russians with regard to the Turks have changed, and
they would accept an entente with pleasure. But it is in-
214 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
terests and not sentiments that guide political actions, and
as the dream of possessing Constantinople has but grown
with time among the Russians, having been passed down
from generation to generation, I do not think they would
accept an understanding which would remove the possi-
dream. Ever since Russia
bility of the realisation of this
has carried on direct relations with the Western Powers,
she has always sought to prevent an understanding being
arrived at between either Turkey or France and England,
and with this end in view she has worked to create a chasm
between England and France, sometimes by promising
Egypt to England, sometimes by offering other parts of
the Empire to France. Thus the occupation of Egypt by
England accords with Russia's policy, as it constitutes a
cause df separation between the two nations. Should
Russia, on account of her Oriental interests, find herself
eng'aged in a war in which Germany and France took no
part, Russia would try to promise Egypt to France, in
order to have her co-operation or her benevolent neutrality.
Even should France and Germany take part in a world war,
Russia would use Egypt as a pawn in order to make a
present of it according to circumstances.
"
Turkey seeks to come to an understanding with
If

Russia on the Egyptian question, Russia only needs to


recommend Turkey to continue her hostile attitude to-
wards England and to make her vague promises. Should
Turkey be disposed to arrive at a really clear and definite
understanding with Russia, the latter would not only pro-
mise her the retrocession of Egypt, but also the return of
the fortresses in Asia Minor, the renunciation of her war
indemnity, and release from the Public Debt. But against
all these concessions Russia would ask for herself some-

thing of far more value that is to say, a point in the
Straits, which she would occupy and fortify and although
;

Russia would pretend that this entrenchment in the Straits


was merely to defend herself against the aggression of
AN ENTENTE WITH ENGLAND 215

Western Europe, and would not touch the independence


of the Empire, it is natural that she would never allow

Turkey to become so strong as to be able to drive her


off. Can one doubt that the day when Russia no longer
feared the Western Powers, she would drive Turkey out
of the Straits, which she considers to be the door to her
own house ?
"
On the other hand, England is compelled always to
assure her communications with her Eastern possessions ;
and as her geographical position does not allow her to pos-
sess the whole extent of an independent route to India or
Australia, and as her traditional policy is rather to have
friends that will assure her this route than be obliged to

protect it by her arms and her money, she


would certainly
seek to have a sure guardian for these ways of coirimunica-
tion. As reciprocal interests and the geographical position
of Turkey point to her as the only possible guardian of this
trust, it is therefore a sacred duty for Your Majesty to
recognise the advantages of such a charge, and to do your
best to arrive as quickly as possible at a real and sincere
understanding with England. Your Majesty will realise
better than any one else the harm that might be caused
to the Empire if England were forced to take measures to
attain the security she desires by other means. That is
why I venture once more to insist with Your Majesty on
the necessity of arriving at such an understanding.
"It is true that England, by her more or less selfish
policy for some time past, has wounded the feelings of Your
Majesty, as well as those of your faithful servants, but in
State affairs it is interest that guides politics and inspires
conduct. Should Your Majesty decide to-day to break
with England, you would be obliged to seek an under-
standing with Russia and her Allies, but as these are only
seeking to reduce the Empire to a condition which will
compromise her future, I conclude that there is nothing
left for you to do except to come to an understanding with
216 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
England and arrange the question of Egypt. I am sure
that the day Your Majesty recognises the advantages that
would result from the establishment of relations based on
the mutual interests of the two countries, consecrated by
so many acts of friendship during more than a century past,
not only would the Egyptian question be given a solution,
in conformity with the rights and interests of the Empire,
but there would even be a way of arriving at a satisfactory
understanding with regard to Cyprus. As soon as the
present difficulties which form an obstacle to the Empire's
occupying her position in the European Concert are sur-
mounted, all the clauses of the Treaty of Berlin favourable
to Turkish interests which have not as yet been applied,
would be applied. Only two Powers were directly inter-
ested in the Treaty of Berlin, but England, being dissatisfied
with Turkey's attitude, does nothing in her favour, and
tries to restore order in Eastern Europe by other means.

Russia, though irritated at having lost her influence in


Bulgaria, nevertheless has the satisfaction of having created
a great Bulgaria, which has swept away the obstacle of the
Danube fortifications, and leaves her a free road to Con-
stantinople. For this reason she has an interest in having
the right to consider the Treaty of Berlin abrogated so as
to be able some day to occupy Bulgaria. The Bulgarians
recognise this possibility, which they consider as a loss
of their independence, and they would not hesitate to come
to an understanding with the Empire. I am convinced

that as a consequence of an entente with England, the


reoccupation of the Balkan Passes might be realised with-
out causing any excitement in Europe and without arous-
ing Russian intrigues.
"
A useful policy for the present and for the future would
be one that would tend to establish an entente between
the Balkan States by the conclusion of a defensive alliance
and an economic accord, the prelude to the constitution
of a great Oriental State. Roumania, Serbia, Montenegro,
FEDERATION PROPOSED 217

Greece and Bulgaria, in order to strengthen their positions


in relation to their powerful neighbour, and to assure
their mutual relations among themselves, need an armed
force, or rather a body of political police. On what Power
should fall the role of forming such a political police force ?
Russia has at all times wanted to assume this role, and
all the wars she has undertaken, and all the sacrifices she

has made for centuries past, have had this in view. But
the people of the Balkans, who would look upon such
intervention and protection as the nullification of their
national independence, would never submit to it. Austria

might be considered as qualified to occupy such a post


on account of her special constitution and the experience
she has gained in governing heterogeneous elements, but
the Balkan States would be afraid of her absorbing all
the economic resources. Under the circumstances, there
remains only Turkey which could serve as the centre round
which the Balkan States should be grouped.
"
The establishment of a free entente such as I suggest
would give the peoples of each State the right to settle in
any part of the great Empire, and to be considered as be-

longing to it, with freedom to undertake any enterprise they


wished. Tufkey would have the advantage of having
re-established her unity as a State with the old frontiers,
but instead of having to devote all her resources to prevent-
ing the emancipation of the people who have now become
independent, her strength would reside in the unity of
the people for their mutual defence, and their resources could
be devoted to the economic development of the Empire."

After speaking of a number of other advisable measures


connected with justice and the civil and financial adminis-
tration, the memorandum continued :

"
The principal source of the wealth of the country
being agriculture, as the development of this national
218 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
industry depends on the means of communication which
assure the farmers the sale of their products at good
prices, rather than on pecuniary advances or credits, the
question of railway construction in the country ought to
engage the Government's serious attention.
"
Here, according to my humble advice, are the principal
lines the immediate construction of which is highly desir-

able first, a line starting from the capital and terminating
at the Persian Gulf that is to say, the Bagdad line. Then
:

branch lines leaving the different centres traversed by the


main such as Sivas, Diarbekir, Karbout, and terminat-
line,

ing at the natural ports of each centre in the Black Sea


and the Mediterranean. Then the purchase of the Kassaba
line, which was laid down for the Government, and its pro-

longation on the one side, via Karahissar to Konia, and by


way of Kutahia to Eskichehir on the other side by way of
;

Baldikessar to Banderma.
"
The approximate length of this series of lines would
be 2,800 kilometres (1,750 miles), and for their construc-
tion an initial capital sum of ^Ti6,ooo,ooo would be

required. As half of the revenue apportioned for the


constitution of the capital of the agricultural banks is
£T2oo,ooo, and the taxes for public works in the vilayets
traversed by the projected lines is £T38o,ooo, or a total
of £T58o,ooo, with this sum as a guarantee it would be
possible to raise a State loan of £Tio, 000,000. Of this
^7,700,000 could be set aside for the building of 1,400
kilometres of line — other words, the lines from Ang-
or, in
kora to Massia-Sivas and from Massia-Samsoun to Alachehir-
Konia, from Karahissar to Eskichehir, and from Alexan-
dretta to Aleppo or Berijik. These lines could be built by
contractors in a space of five years. Of the sum remaining,
the Kassaba company might receive £Ti, 700,000 for the
redemption, and the prolongation to Banderma would be
built.
"
The State lines built and exploited during the five years
THE SULTAN'S FAILING 219

would be ceded to exploiting companies which would under-


take to pay the State so much per cent, out of the mileage
receipts, and these receipts might form the capital for the
building of the rest of the lines."

I learned that the Sultan had already been put au courant


with the idea of the formation of a federal Eastern State.
After receiving my memorandum, he sent me a study on the
same subject which had been presented to him by the
King of Montenegro, who had previously spoken to His
Majesty about it when he was his guest. The Sultan, I
must say, studied all the political and social questions and
suggestions which were presented to him, and accepted sug-
gestions with great amiability. His failing was that he
was always absorbed by small daily questions and troubled
by events the importance of which were exaggerated by
his imagination. Hence he never had the time to reflect
on these projects and suggestions or to give practical solu-
tions to them. To induce him to carry out enterprises of
any importance, strong pressure from an outside Power

was necessary pressure like that of the Emperor William.
CHAPTER XIII
The Egyptian Question.

A few weeks after my return to Constantinople I received


a telegram from the Palace asking me to go there immedi-
ately. I was received by Hadji Ali Bey, who, having

announced my presence to His Majesty, communicated to


me the Imperial desire, which was textually as follows :

"
The Sultan is very much troubled at the turn which
the Egyptian question has taken. He is aware of the
painful impression caused on public opinion, which im-
putes the entire responsibility to His Majesty. As the
Sublime Porte has not succeeded in arriving at a satis-
factory solution in the interests of the Empire and of the
personal dignity of the Crown, the Sultan has thought to
entrust you with the matter ; but in the first place he would
like toknow your personal opinion, and if you do not
find possible to arrive at a satisfactory solution, His
it

Majesty would like to see you in order to study it with


you."

While by no means blind to the responsibility involved


in the acceptance of so delicate a task, I did not hesitate
to say frankly what I thought. I asked the First Cham-

berlain to tell His Majesty that in my


opinion the Egyptian
question was one of life or death for Turkey. It was
thanks to Egypt that the Sultan had acquired the title and
the right of Caliph. It was the Sultan's duty, I added,

frankly and sincerely to try and arrive at an understanding


220
EGYPTIAN REPORT 221

with Great Britain. The refusal to ratify the Drummond-


Wolff Convention had undoubtedly created a very serious
situation. It was puerile to hope to re-establish the old
order of things in Egypt, but there was every chance of
arriving at a satisfactory result if the Sultan showed a
disposition to come to a rapprochement with England,
whose friendship and support were indispensible for Turkey's
maintenance as a European Power and the preservation of
her position in the world.
My remarks, reported faithfully to the Sultan, must have
produced a certain impression upon him. Hadji Ali Bey
conveyed to me the Sultan's order to begin at once a thor-
ough study of the whole question, and prepare a report.
I must say my task seemed to me not a little delicate and

difficult, not merely on account of the innate obstacles,


but also through the lack of order and sequence in the
political acts of the Sultan. But the fact that my personal
be pursued with regard to
feelings concerning the policy to
England were well known, and this notwithstanding the
Sultan had addressed himself to me to solve this question,
led me to believe he had changed his tactics and seriously
wanted to find a solution. After the following Friday's
prayer the Sultan called to him my old friend Marshal
Chakir Pasha, who was then political councillor and mem-
ber of the Military Commission, told him of the mission he
had given me, and instructed him to assist me in the work.
Next day, Chakir Pasha asked me to go and see him, and
then told me of the Imperial instructions. We
set to work

together, and a few days later (December 3rd, 1892) I handed


my report to His Majesty with a projet de convention. The
following are these documents :

1. Report of Ismail Kemal Bey


"The crux of the Egyptian question lies in the desires
which France for centuries past, and especially during the
222 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
three periods of her world influence, has shown with regard
to Egypt. This ought to serve as a starting-point in the
search for means of remedying the state of affairs created
by recent events, to the great detriment of our political
rights
—a state of things which may cause the ruin of the
Empire.
"
Leaving out of the question facts that belong to rela-
tively distant times, if we study the proposals made on
the morrow of the signing of the Treaty of Paris by
Napoleon III to England with regard to Egypt and the
Arab countries of Africa and if, on the other hand, we
;

examine the dispositions which the French Republic mani-


fested towards England at the beginning of the crisis, and
after the fall of Ismail Pasha, we shall be convinced that
if there is danger for Egypt in the future, such danger will

arise out of this possible (eventual) understanding of


France with England.
"
We are well aware both of the character of England's
pretensions over Egypt and of the extent of our interests
in this country, but we ought nevertheless not to ignore
the fact that it is the pretensions of France which have
impelled England to occupy Egypt, and that it is the fear
of seeing France profit by a favourable occasion to lay
hands on the country and threaten the road to India and
other British possessions, which forces England to prolong
the occupation.
"
England understands the difficulties arising from this
occupation, and in order to leave it she awaits a European
conflict, so as tocome to an understanding with Turkey,
or if she does not succeed in that, to arrive at an under-
standing with France.
"
As the present British Government is in favour of a
rapprochement with France, the danger of an understand-
ing of this nature seems to-day to be more probable than
ever before.
"
A solution of the Egyptian question based upon an
PROPOSED CONVENTION 223

Anglo-French understanding would entail not only the


loss

of the sovereign rights of Your Majesty in Egypt, but would

open up an era of aggression and claims on the part


of

France and other Powers, who would doubtless seek a


rational means of settling the Eastern question on the new
basis.
"
It is for Your Majesty to prevent this understanding by

taking the measures necessary to consolidate your rights


and assure the future of your Empire.
"
As to your humble servant, since the day when Hadji
orders to me, have
Ali Bey communicated your august I

applied myself to the task, and have the advantage


of

submitting to Your Majesty a proposed convention which


I have drawn up. The question is in itself highly impor-
tant and very difficult, but the rights of Your Majesty are
so precise, and the interest for England in safeguarding
them is I do not doubt Your Majesty's good
so real, that
intentionswould meet with the warmest support from the
English Government and full approbation from the guaran-
teeing Powers."

2. The Proposed Convention


"
Art. I. — His Majesty the Sultan, in his exalted
capacity of Sovereign and Master of Egypt and its depen-
dencies, having declared that he has the unshakable in-
tention of maintaining for ever the privileges and immunities
accorded in virtue of the Firmans dated 1257 °f * ne Hegira
(1841) and
of others bearing later date to the Khediviate
of Egypt, the clauses and dispositions of every act and
international convention passed in virtue of the special
authorisation between the Khediviate and the Powers, the
Khedivial administration established in conformity with
these Firmans, and the territorial integrity of Egypt — Her
Majesty the Queen of England undertakes to guarantee the
224 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
inviolability of the sovereign rights of His Majesty the
Sultan of Egypt and his dependencies, the maintenance of
allthe privileges and immunities accorded to the Khedivial
Government and Egyptian territorial integrity, and to
lend her land and naval forces for the suppression of all
internal disorder or aggression from without against the
above-named sovereign rights of the Sultan, the adminis-
tration of the territorial integrity of the Khediviate and
the disposition of international acts and conventions.

"Art. II. His Majesty the Sultan, in the contingency
foreseen by the preceding article, undertakes, in agreement
with Her Majesty the Queen of England, to send his naval
or land forces to Egypt, and he reserves the right to have
recourse to themeans prescribed by article 10 of the Con-
vention of the Suez Canal to maintain the order and in-
tegrity of Egypt.
"
Art. III. —
The august parties contracting will be
obliged on the disappearance of the causes provoking the
armed occupation of Egypt simultaneously to withdraw
their forces and evacuate the country. The evacuation
must be effected within twenty days from the date fixed.
The cost of the army of occupation, either in common or
separate, will be chargeable to the Egyptian budget. If

Turkey, finding herself occupied elsewhere, is unable to


send a force at the moment when the events take place
which occasion the despatch of armed troops, England will
not be hindered from sending a force and using it. In any
case Turkey might send officers belonging to the different
arms to follow the British Army and put themselves under
the command of the High Commissioner, and she will have
the right to send her forces when they become available.
"Art. IV. —
The present Convention defining the rights
and duties of the august parties contracting does not com-

prise for Turkey either the power to alter the status quo, to
modify the privileges or immunities, or to abolish the inter-
national conventions, nor the right for England to claim
CHAKIR PASHA'S REPORT 225

territorial or political advantages or exceptional favours


for her nationals.
"
Art. V. —
The present Convention will be communi-
cated officially to the Powers who signed the Convention
of London and the Treaties of Paris and Berlin.

"Additional Article. The date of the withdrawal of the

English army of occupation will be fixed in the course of


a year from the ratification of the present Convention. If
the two high parties find it necessary to prolong the occu-
pation more than two years, Turkey will have the right to
send her troops at no matter what moment of the period
of occupation that shall be fixed afresh."

3. Chakir Pasha's Report


"
In conformity with the orders with which Your Majesty
honoured me verbally on Friday, I hastened to join Ismail
Kemal Bey and to study with him the plan of a convention
to propose to England for Egypt.
"
Indications lead one to suppose that the Liberal Party,
which has just succeeded the Conservative Party in Lon-
don, wishes to arrive at an understanding with France on
the question of Egypt. It seems, according to the latest

information, that negotiations on the subject are on the


eve of being opened.
"As I had the honour of saying to Your Majesty the
other day, if an understanding is come to between
France and England, leaving out Turkey, the bonds uniting
Egypt to this Empire would be entirely destroyed. It is for
Your Majesty to weigh and appreciate the gravity of the
prejudice which an understanding of this sort would cause
to your sovereign right and your prestige as Caliph.
"
The absence of any move and a long-continued silence,
no matter on what reasons they may be based, would lead
to the belief in Your Majesty's acceptance of the existing
state of affairs and would leave the way open for a direct

15
226 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
understanding between France and England, the result of
which would be the loss of Egypt. Consequently, I again
beg Your Majesty to ask England to conclude a compro-
mise which would safeguard your sovereign right and
would satisfy English interests. I am of opinion that the
proposed convention drawn up by Ismail Kemal Bey, which
I hasten to place at the feet of Your Majesty, answers
entirely to the views of Your Majesty."

On the receipt of these documents the Sultan sent word


that he would study them and come to an understanding
with Chakir Pasha and myself as to the course to be fol-
lowed. Exchanges of views continued to take place, but
no decision was come to.
About this time the European journey of the young
Khedive Abbas Hilmi, and his famous ordre du jour, at-
tracted the attention of the British Government, and Mr
Gladstone, in the course of a speech in the House of Com-
mons, declared that France had no special claim to inter-
fere in Egypt, as her rights were only the same as those of

any other Power. In notifying these facts to the Sultan, I


pointed out that this speech of the British Premier might
be regarded as an indirect invitation to reopen negotiations
without the intervention of any other Power. Three days
after had handed in this further report, the Sultan's
I

aides-de-camp came one after another to ask me to go


at once to the Palace, and there I was given instructions
to go to the house of Chakir Pasha, where M. Cambon, the
French Ambassador, was coming to have a talk with us
about Egyptian affairs.
This care with which the Sultan seemed to have arranged
an interview for us with M. Cambon naturally caused us
pleasure, as the exchange of views on a question of such
political importance with one of the most distinguished
diplomats of the day would doubtless throw light upon the
matter, but at the same time I wanted to have some in-
A MISCHIEVOUS REIGN 227

formation in advance as to the real object of this meeting.


Unfortunately the lateness of the hour left me no time to
inform myself on the matter, and I had to go at once to
Chakir Pasha's, who had received the same instructions as
I had. We waited for the Ambassador until midnight,
but he did not come. The next morning I went to the
Palace to inform the Sultan of this fact, and he sent me
word that he had been informed by M. Cambon late the
previous evening that he could not be at the rendezvous ;

but as he (M. Cambon) was preparing another work on the


Egyptian question, we should be asked to examine it together
a little later. Some time after this, again a messenger from
the —
Palace a carpenter whom the Sultan sometimes

employed to do these errands came to Chakir Pasha and
myself asking us for the documents we had on the Egyptian
question. We handed them over, and this was the last
we ever heard about the matter. Indirectly we learned
that the Sultan having consulted the French and Russian
Ambassadors, they had advised that the question should
be placed before a court of arbitration.
If one considers it in a spirit of justice and impartiality,

bearing in mind the vital interests of the Empire, the reign


of Abd-ul-Hamid shows a series of incoherent acts and
mischievous lines of policy, the consequences of which were
disastrous alike to the Empire, to the East, and I may even
say, to the world in general. But of all these political
blunders, that which in my opinion was the most fatal of
all was conduct with regard to this serious Egyptian
his

question. Egypt herself is worth an Empire. The poli-


tical advantages and the titles and prestige which its pos-
to the Empire, and particularly to the
session assured
Ottoman dynasty, were such that the descendants of
Mahomet the Conqueror and of Selim the Great ought to
have concentrated their whole policy on safeguarding their
sovereign rights over this country, the real key to the
world. The ancestors of Abd-ul-Hamid, who had con-
228 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
solidated their Empire by the acquisition of Asia Minor,
which had already become partly Islamised, used the
power which the Mussulman religion assured them to realise
their vast ambitions, the conquest of Constantinople and
the conversion of the Oriental Empire to Islam. The pos-
session of Constantinople was the key to the Mussulman
edifice. Mussulman sovereigns who had succeeded
All the
Mahomet had hankered after the titles and honours which
the founder of Islam had reserved for the one who should
conquer the city on the Bosphorus. In the Hadiss he had
described such a one as the greatest of sovereigns, while
his army would be the greatest of armies.
This precious and mighty as it was in itself, never-
title,

theless required consecrating. Such consecration Sultan


Selim obtained in conquering Egypt, and obtaining by this
fact the transmission of the Caliphate to himself and his
descendants. The successors of Selim, who considered the
Mediterranean to be insufficiently great to hold the foun-
dations of an Empire, wanted to extend their conquests
beyond the ocean, and used Egypt as the base for their
operations in the East. After that period it was again
thanks to Egypt that they gained the support and aid of
England, who had become mistress of the Orient, in the
maintenance of the Empire.
In this momentous question Abd-ul-Hamid adopted a
policy contrary not only to the real interests of the country,
inasmuch as it alienated the more than friendly interest of
England, which had been the real and only support of the
Empire, but which was opposed to the very interests of the
Caliphate to which he was so particularly attached from
the very beginning of his reign and all through it. It may

be interesting for the reader to know some of the details


in order to judge the motives for so strange a policy. Abd-
ul-Hamid did not hesitate to dismiss the Khedive Ismail
Pasha, whose prodigality was bringing Egypt to ruin, but
the favours he showered on the instigators of disorder in
ARABI PASHA'S REVOLT 229

Egypt were absolutely calculated to bring about a sub-


versivemovement. When Arabi Pasha's rising took place,
instead of declaring him a rebel and interposing as Sove-
reign of the country to restore order, he hastened to send
a marshal, who was both ambitious and fanatical, with an
argosy of valuable presents, as also a fanatical sheikh, so that
they should keep alive the zeal and courage of the organisers
of disorder. Again, after the catastrophe of Alexandria,
when England only asked for the despatch of Turkish
troops to repress the rising, the Grand Vizier of the time.
Abdurrahman Pasha, a man of little capacity politically,
but upright and honourable, fell a victim to his patriotism,
while the famous Ghazi Osman Pasha, the hero of Plevna,
who begged to be sent to Egypt, if it were only at the
head of a battalion, was set aside. Raghip Bey, the Sultan's
Chamberlain and confidant, told me that when Osman Pasha
was urging his views on the Sovereign, Abd-ul-Hamid called
his first eunuch, Baram Aga, who was one of his intimate
counsellors, and asked his opinion on the matter. The
eunuch, after consulting a certain Spirachi, who claimed
to have special knowledge owing to his alleged relations
with a lady connected with the British Embassy, and who
happened to be present, replied by shaking a particularly
long forefinger at the Sultan, and exclaiming,
"
Never !

'

never ! Ghazi Osman Pasha's request was refused.


Events followed their natural course. England, deprived
of the support of the Suzerain Court which she had asked
for,suppressed Arabi's movement by her own efforts and
occupied Cairo. When Lord Salisbury formed his Cabinet,
he summoned Sir Henry Drummond- Wolff to London from
Cairo, where he had been in the capacity of Commissary,
and gave him the mission of concluding a convention with
the Porte on the Egyptian question. At the Conference
that ensued at Constantinople, the Sultan was represented
by Kiamil Pasha and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Said
Pasha. Sir Henry Drummond-Wolff's first question was
230 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
whether the Sultan would consent to send a few battalions
of the Turkish Army to support the Khedive. On the
Sultan refusing this, Sir Henry tried to get permission to
form a corps of Albanian volunteers for the Khedive's
service. This request was also refused. After a great deal
of and negotiations, a convention was drawn
discussion
up and signed by the delegates of the two Powers (Feb-
ruary 2nd, 1887) which fixed the period of evacuation at
three years' time, the English reserving to themselves the
right to intervene after that period in case of insurrection
or aggression of any sort in order to aid the Turkish troops
to restore order, and in case it was impossible for the
Turkish Government to send troops, they would do this
work alone. This Convention, ratified by the Queen, was
returned to Constantinople, to be exchanged for the docu-
ment by the Sultan. But Abd-ul-Hamid refused
ratified
to give his signature. Sir Henry waited at Constantinople,
but the Sultan could not make up his mind to ratify the
Convention, which, it was argued, gave the British co-
proprietary rights in Egypt. In vain Lord Salisbury sent
two long telegrams to Constantinople pointing out that far
from giving his country co-proprietary rights in Egypt, the
Convention would be of the greatest help to Turkey. The
letter which the French Ambassador of the time, the
Comte de Montebello, handed to the Sultan, either on his
own initiative or at the Sultan's request, shows the kind of
political wirepulling that was taking place at this critical
moment. As this letter is of great and exceptional im-
portance both from its contents and its form, I make no
excuse for inserting it here in full :

"
June 7/19, 1887.
"
Sire,
"
The French Government is absolutely decided not
to accept the situation which will result from the ratification
of the Egyptian Convention. Should it be ratified, the
INTRIGUES 231

French Government will devote its attention to its own


which the rupture of the equilibrium in the Medi-
interests,
terranean would compromise, and with this object in view
would take measures necessary to protect them. In the
contrary case, that is to say, if Your Imperial Majesty does
not ratify the said Convention, the French Ambassador
is authorised by his Government to give Your
Imperial
Majesty the formal and categorical assurance that the
French Government will protect and guarantee Your
Majesty against the consequences, whatever they might be,
that might result from the non-ratification in question.
"
Consequently Your Imperial Majesty, being no longer
open to any doubt in this matter, will not only give
full satisfaction to the Mussulman population by not

ratifying this arrangement, which causes you so much


anxiety and trouble, but will in this way confirm and
strengthen the old-established ties of friendship existing
between your Empire and France.
"
As the disinterested policy of France alone can protect
the Ottoman Empire against the encroachments and the
ambitious intentions of England, the maintenance of
friendship with France should be considered by your Im-
perial Majesty as being of more advantage to you."

The very day that this letter was handed to the Sultan,
M. Maximoff, the dragoman of the Russian Embassy, called
at the Palace, and while he was making verbal remon-
strances, as if he had been told to do so by his Government,
Youssouf Riza Pasha, President of the Immigration Com-
mission and Privy Councillor of the Sultan, threw himself
"
at His Majesty's feet, saying, Trample on me rather than
sign this document." The Sultan asked for nothing better
than to yield to these entreaties.
After the definite Imperial refusal, Lord Salisbury de-
clared that there was no further need for a Convention,
that Her Majesty's Government, having undertaken to
232 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
reorganise Egypt and restore order by their own resources,
considered themselves obliged to carry out this duty, and
that so soon as the desired end had been attained, the
British Army would be withdrawn. This declaration caused
natural anxiety to the Grand Vizier and the Ministers, and
they again took up the matter with the Sultan, trying to
find a way of reopening negotiations with the Foreign
Office. The Grand Vizier, Kiamil Pasha, who was always
worried by the seriousness of the situation created by this
attitude of Great Britain, took advantage of every oppor-
tunity to urge on the Monarch the need of arriving at an
understanding with the latter Power. It was just a year
before His Majesty took it into his head to consult me about

this Egyptian question, that Kiamil Pasha, in consequence


of a conversation which the Turkish Ambassador in London
had had with the Prime Minister, made another appeal to
the Sultan. He suggested the idea of reopening negotia-
tions with the Cabinet of St. James bv asking the Kaiser
to intervene, both as personal friend of the Sultan and as
grandson of the Queen, with whom at this time he seemed
to enjoy particular favour. The Sultan agreed that the

question should be studied by the Council of Ministers, but


on condition that the ex-Grand Vizier Said Pasha and
Chakir Pasha should take part in the deliberations. This
Cabinet Council met at the Palace, and were joined by the
two confidants of His Majesty after they had had a long
conversation with him. The motives they brought for-
ward to oppose Kiamil Pasha's suggestion show the instruc-
tions which the Sultan had given them, and as the finding
of the Cabinet Council was opposed to the views which

they enunciated, the Sultan rejected it.


The Sultan's whole conduct in the handling of this grave
and weighty matter showed that he had made up his mind
that it should not be settled. We were always asking our-
selves and each other what could be his reasons, as we
could not admit that the Sultan's well-known strain of
ABD-UL-HAMID AND BRITAIN 233

mysticism or his cunning could have any action in this


question. I was forced by the evidence to attribute this

mischievous obstinacy to the implacable hatred he felt


against England. Believing that the two successive changes
of reign had been carried out through the support of

England, and knowing that that Power was greatly looked


up to by the Mussulman element, he considered it neces-

sary for his personal preservation to destroy British prestige,


and no line of action seemed to him better adapted to this
end than to represent England as the usurper in a purely
Mussulman country. I think the present war supplies the
1

real key to this mystery. Abd-ul-Hamid was always boast-


ing of the ascendancfy he had gained in the Mussulman
world thanks to his clear-sighted policy as Caliph and the
efforts he had made ever since his reign began. It seemed

to be his policy to do everything he could to preserve his


neutrality until the day should arrive when the great
European war which he believed to be inevitable should
break out and
it would be his turn to play a great role. We
regarded these declarations at the time rather as fables
intended to justify his weakness and lack of courage in his
political acts, but the great war shows that everything had
been settled long beforehand, and that what we believed
to be fables was a conviction based upon a well-laid plan.

1
Written in 1917.
CHAPTER XIV
1892
— 1893

Receptions at the palace The character of the Sultan An —
evening at the imperial theatre appointment as governor-

General of Crete Nominations that were never carried out —

Railway questions in Asia Minor My appointment to Tripoli
a remarkable nise £x sc£n£_
On returning home one evening from an excursion I had
made outside the walls of the capital, I stopped at the
Palace to find out whether there was anything new with
regard to the Egyptian question, as to which (as stated
in the last chapter) I had handed in my reports. I learned

that an aide-de-camp of the Sultan had gone to my house


to invite me to the Palace to take part in the prayer that
same evening, which was a religious fete. I therefore

stayed, and after dinner was taken to the large hall known
as the Salle des Tchid kiosk, one of the pavilions of Yildiz.
I was placed facing the Sultan, in order that during the

prayer, which was very long, the Sultan should have the
opportunity of examining my physiognomy and general
appearance. It was Abd-ul-Hamid's habit thus to inspect
first the photograph, and then from a distance the physi-

ognomy of those whom he wished to receive and talk with.


After the prayer, the Sultan, standing by the door, greeted
those who had been at the ceremony and who took leave
of him, addressingan appropriate remark to each. To each
sheikh His Majesty said, "Do not forget to pray for me. I

need your prayers." When I reached him he kept me for


a minute to say how highly satisfied he was with the ser-
vices I had rendered in Asia and in Syria, and asked me to
234
IN THE ROYAL BOX 235

await his orders in an adjoining apartment. I passed into


this room, under the guidance of a chamberlain, and a
minute or two later was shown into a third, where after a
short while the Chamberlain, Faik Bey, came in and informed
me from the Sultan of appointment as Governor-
my
General of Crete, and asked me to come back to the Palace
the next evening to see His Majesty and receive instruc-
tions. The official order for my nomination was sent the
same evening to the Sublime Porte.

My impression on hearing of this decision to appoint


first

me Governor-General of Crete was that the Sultan wanted


to use this as a pretext for not considering the Egyptian
question any more. But the political importance of the
island,and the flattering manner in which the appointment
had been offered to me, cut short any observation I might
have made. I accepted the post, and on the following
evening I went to the Palace. After dinner I was con-
ducted to the little theatre, where the Sultan received me
in his box for a few minutes' conversation. When his
sister, Djemile Sultane, the widow of Damat Mahmoud
Pasha, who met with a tragic death along with Midhat
Pasha at Tahif, was announced, the Sultan gave me leave
to retire, inviting me at the same time to stay and witness
the performance. I therefore spent the rest of the evening
in the box occupied by the Marshal of the Court and other

dignitaries of the Palace. This pretty little theatre pos-


sessed three rows of boxes ; there was a large one opposite
the stage with a grille for the Sultan, and others on either
side — on the right hand for the staff of the Palace, and on
the left, which one also had a grille, for the harem.
During the entire performance the Sultan laughed and
talked so loudly and with such ostentation that one might
have been excused for wondering if it were he or the actors
who were trying to attract the attention of the audience.
In contrast with his behaviour, the box devoted to the
ladies of the harem remained in profound and dismal silence,
236 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
The Sultan's object was evidently to affect a gaiety which
would impress those present, and especially his sister. On
all such occasions he either had or affected to have great

mastery over himself concealing any preoccupation or


;

emotion that he might be supposed to have, he did his best


to astonish those around him by his gaiety and good-
humour. Even at the most tragic moments of his career,
" "
he would appear in public made up to show that he
was in good health and free from care. It often happened
that when a Minister came to discuss grave State business
with him, he would keep him occupied in idle talk about
the mechanism of a watch or a new plant, or some similar
topic, when, pleading fatigue and the lateness of the hour,
he would put off the discussion until another time. On
occasions of serious crisis it was his habit to send for Ilias
Bey, the Chief of the Wardrobe, and director of the Im-
perial Theatre, to discuss questions of the playhouse and
of future productions with him, to order fresh plays or
send him for specimens of stuffs for costumes.
Though such conduct partly arose from Abd-ul-Hamid's
innate frivolity, it was also in part intentional in order to show
hisfreedom from care. The theatre was a field of action in
which he was able and eager to take measures against the
dangers which he saw everywhere around him. He often
took exception to a play or to a certain setting and became
furious, thinking it contained some allusion to himself or
his political acts. Thus on one occasion, when he was
witnessing a play to which he had invited the ex-Khedive,
Ismail Pasha, he was greatly angered by the performance
of the evening, a famous play in which the captivity of a

young girl was the motif. He reproached Ilias Bey bitterly


for this choice, alleging that the play was directed against
himself, and that the captive maiden was meant to repre-
sent his brother Murad. Ilias Bey denied any such inten-
tion, and as his Imperial master persisted in his charges,
asked to be relieved of his onerous post. The performance
THE CRETAN QUESTION 237

was stopped and the Sultan retired, alleging indisposition.


But the next morning he appeared to have recovered from
his ill-humour and suspicions, and, withdrawing his charges,
he reinstated Ilias Bey. His interest in these matters was
so great that the translations bureau at the Palace was kept

busy almost exclusively in translating all sorts of romances


and dramas dealing especially with police and political
plots, and those he chose among them were produced at
the Imperial Theatre.
little

Summoned again to the Palace a day or two later to


receive instructions, I was informed by the same Cham-
berlain, Faik Bey, on behalf of the Sultan, of the interest
which His Majesty attached to the Island of Crete, and his
hope that I should succeed in my mission.
Crete, though it had been the first of the Greek countries
to take up arms against Turkish domination (in 1821), had
nevertheless remained under the Turks after the constitu-
tion of theKingdom of Greece. During the lengthy period
that the administration of the island was in the hands of
Mehemet Ali, Viceroy of Egypt, he succeeded in maintain-
ing perfect order and an absolute harmony between the
two religious elements, which was due to the capacity and
uprightness of his two successive representatives, uncle
and nephew, both Albanians. After the recall of the
latter of these governors, Mustapha Naili Pasha, to Con-

stantinople, risings among the Christian population of the


island had been continuous, and had all been suppressed by
armed force. The Grand Vizier, Aali Pasha, was the
first to find a way of solving this unfortunate Cretan ques-
tion by granting a measure of self-government to the people.
After the revolutionary movement in 1867 he went to the
island in person to promulgate the organic law, which,
converted later into a pact by the engagements of Aleppo,
was recognised and guaranteed by the Powers and consti-
tuted the common law of the island. During the period
that this charter of the people was respected, comparative
238 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
calm reigned. But the Sultan Abd-ul-Hamid, who was so
hostile to a constitutional regime that he suppressed the
constitution hehad himself granted to the Empire, having
no desire to make an exception in favour of the Cretans,
suspended the operation of this organic law. This cynical
disregard of the engagements entered into by the Sublime
Porte only too well justified the risings which had followed
and continued in the island ever since. It was in conse-
quence of one of these risings and of an attempt against the
lifeof the Governor, Mahmoud Jellaladin Pasha, that the
Sultan appointed me Governor-General.
There were but two ways of maintaining order in the
island of Crete. One was to return to legal methods and
respect the engagements entered into by the Government
with regard to an autonomous administration of the island ;

the other way was to govern with an armed force. The


Sultan, while he would not adopt a liberal policy with
regard to the Cretans, on the other hand, as he feared the
massing of forces in the stations of the Mediterranean,
whence it seemed to him possible to march on to Con-

stantinople, should these happen to be led by a bold and


resolute man disposed to try a coup de main, was very loth
to adopt measures of repression by force, which would
necessitate the concentration of troops.
Torn between these two fears, which were equally ominous
to him, the Sultan tried to find a golden mean, and so his
firstrecommendation to me through Faik Bey was that I
should not ask for an increase in the number of troops
occupying the different parts of the island.
My answer was to assure His Majesty that I should not
ask for extra troops for Crete, and that I might even suc-
ceed in decreasing the number already there, but that I
wished to be furnished with the moral force which was in
my opinion of more efficacy than that of an army, and
that was to return to the legitimate order of things by re-
specting the pact of Aleppo. But this, as I have said,
ROYAL FAVOURS 239

did not suit the Sovereign, and as the step that would
first

have had to be taken on this path was to convoke the


general assembly, the Sultan replied that it was inadvisable
to run the risk of arousing difficulties and dangers with
such an assembly, in which would certainly be found
excited delegates who would clamour for annexation to
Greece. I did not try to discount these supposed dangers,
nor to insist upon my own views, but gave His Majesty to
understand that it would be preferable to support a Parlia-
mentary controversy rather than, by continuing in the path
of outraging Cretan liberties, force the population to follow
the extremists in armed rebellion.
Evidently my views were not to His Majesty's taste, and
during the course of the same week, using as an excuse a
speech that had been made by Mr. Gladstone, then Prime
Minister, on the subject of Crete, the Sultan sent word to
me that he considered it better that I should put off my
departure for Crete until the spring. I was called to the

Palace, where Arif Bey informed me of this desire of his


Imperial master, to which I agreed.
The Sultan continued to show marked amiability towards
me. Some time after the above events, on my taking steps
to obtain the salary due to me as a retired official, he sent
word to me that he did not wish me to apply in this matter
the Porte or the Minister of Finances, but that
officially to
he himself would undertake to supply me with the neces-
sary sums. Saying this, Hadji Ali Bey, the Chamberlain,
handed me a silk purse containing a sum of money, adding
that His Majesty would continue in the future to pay me
similar sums periodically. While returning assurances of
my thanks to the Sultan for his generosity, I refused the
offer, and said I preferred to content myself with the small
amount of the retired pay due to me by virtue of the regula-
tions.
Towards the end of the year 1892, M. Kaulla, the Ger-
man concessionnaire of the railway lines from Eskichehir
240 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
to Angkora (the Anatolian Railway), came to ask for con-
cessions for the prolongation of his lines, on one side as far
as Konia and on the other to Caesarea, and eventually as far
as Diarbekir and Bagdad. This request, followed very
quickly by a similar request from Nagelmackers, with re-
gard to the modification of his original concession of a line
from Banderma to Karahissar and Konia, gave rise to an
" "
absolute hunt for railway lines in Turkey. The Ger-
mans maintained the original condition they had made of
a guarantee per kilometre of about 14,000 frs. (£560) for
the lines to be laid down, though they had reduced this
figure by several hundred francs they furthermore de-
;

manded the right to establish colonies in the different


centres on the line. Nagelmackers, who on the contrary
alleged that he had not been able to procure the necessary
capital to fulfil his undertakings made for the first conven-

tion, claimed a kilometric guarantee of 18,000 frs. (£720),


whereas by the agreement that had already been come
to, the State had only accorded him a right to 13,000 frs.

(£520), and simply for the portion from Banderma to


Oushak.
A group of French financiers, represented by Joseph
Moutran Bey, asked for a concession for a line running
parallel to the sea in Syria with a guarantee of 12,000 frs.
(£480) per kilometre. The English company of the Aiden
railway, which had already solicited the right to prolong
its line, presented a request for the construction of the
projected line, but asked for no guarantee.
All these demands, presented with more or less onerous
conditions, constituted an economic and political danger
for the future of the Empire. I could not remain a
passive
spectator when a matter of such vital importance was being
discussed.
I already knew the disposition of the Sultan. He had
made up his mind to accept any sacrifice to please the
Emperor of Germany, and I realised that he would not
THE GUARANTEES SYSTEM 241

hesitate to satisfy the German petitioners, and would put


aside any difficulties to the realisation of German aims.
I presented a long memorandum to the Sultan, in which I

pointed out first the disadvantage of a system of kilometric


guarantees, and then the disadvantages of each separate
petition. It was not difficult to show the defects of the

system of kilometric guarantees, which obliged the State


to complete the receipts up to the amount guaranteed, so
that it was to the interest of the concessionnaire company
and a minimum of working expenses,
to have small receipts
the supplement of the State guarantee received being thus
pure profit. For example, the Anatolian Railway Com-
pany, which had a guarantee of 15,000 frs. (£600) for the
lines working, and would have one of £560 for those still
to be laid down, by reducing to the lowest possible mini-
mum the expenses of working, could restrict the traffic
to the detriment of the country served by the line. As
proof of assertions, I cited the case of the Aiden Railway,
my
of which the company was English, which, having no
kilometric guarantee, had had receipts of over 17,000 frs.
gross per kilometre, while the others never took more than
4,000 frs.

Of these competitors, the conditions offered by the


all

representatives of the Aiden Railway Company were the


most advantageous and the most honest. Mr. Purser, the
had drawn up his request in duplicate
director of this line,
and the Grand Vizier in my presence, and sub-
for the Sultan
mitted the documents in person at the Palace and the
Sublime Porte. He undertook, as soon as the concession
was accorded, and ending
to build a line leaving Alachehir
at Konia, via Oushak and Karahissar, and another junction
linewith the Anatolian line, leaving Karahissar to join the

Anatolian line either at Kutahia in case the Anatolian
Company wanted to enjoy their preferential right to pro-

long the Eskichehir line as far as this place (Kutahia) or —


as far as Eskichehir, in case the Germans renounced their
16
242 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
prerogative. The Aiden Company not only asked for no
guarantee per kilometre for their lines, but even offered to
give up all claims they had on the Government on account
of different advances they had made, as well as the in-
demnities due to them, amounting to several million pounds
sterling. The company also undertook to redeem the
Cassaba line, according to the desire of the Turkish Govern-
ment.
Had these conditions been accepted, the Government
would have made an annual economy of at least 5,500,000
frs. As a matter of fact, as the State had undertaken
to pay the two concessionnaire companies the respective
guarantees of 14,000 frs. and 18,000 frs. per kilometre for
the 444 kilometres to Konia and the 252 kilometres of the
prolongation to Cassaba, I reckoned that for the first there
would be 6,000 frs. to pay per kilometre, and for the second
12,000 frs The railway statistics since these lines have been
working have shown that my prevision fell short of the
facts. It was an immense sacrifice for the State, and for
this reason I had had hopes that the English request would
be received amiably even if not gratefully. Unfortu-
nately the Sultan's friendship for the Kaiser was such that
this price did not count with him. Seeing that Mr. Purser's
request was not taken into consideration, and that the
Minister of Public Works went on with the granting of the
concessions to the Anatolian Company and to Nagel-
mackers, presented another memorandum to the Sultan,
I

pointing out the huge sacrifice he was imposing on the


country.
The Sultan knew well enough my sentiments with re-
gard to Great Britain, and the price I attached to the

traditional friendship between Turkey and that Power.


I did not want to go so far as to advise him to break with
Germany form an attachment with the rival
in order to
Power, but did not hesitate to say that if His Majesty
I
had reasons for refusing all concessions for enterprises in
A NEW MEMORANDUM 243

Turkey to the English, it was not proper for a Sovereign


to sacrifice the material interests of his own country in
order to pay court to the Sovereign of another country,
that he would not win the latter's respect by so doing, and
that it seemed to me that friendship at such a price must
even lose its value in the eyes of the Kaiser. If His Majesty
was really desirous of giving all preference to the subjects
of his friend the Kaiser, he could take advantage of the
offers thathad been made him by the English to demand
the same conditions from the Germans.
In spite of the justice of my patriotic suggestions, and
in spite of the evidence of the prejudice which the condi-
tions proposed by the competitors of the English company
caused to the revenue, the agreement with the Germans was
signed, and the onerous proposals of Nagelmackers were
accepted, while the Syrian railway concession was also
granted. If the Sultan made these absolute sacrifices, it
was with the object Of pleasing the Kaiser, while the other
but not important sacrifices made in the interest of
less

Nagelmackers and Moutran, were to attenuate the effect


which the larger ones would be likely to produce upon the
public.
On the publication of the conventions and the estimates,
I submitted a fresh memorandum to the Sultan so as to bring
to his notice the political and economic disadvantages that
would be caused by the clause regarding the colonisation of
the colony traversed by this Anatolian line. The Sultan,
at last deeply impressed by my arguments, summoned me
and the Grand Vizier, Djevad Pasha, to the Palace the same
evening to examine the question together. After reflection
he decided to convoke a Cabinet Committee the next day
to go into the whole matter, and I was ordered to take

part in the deliberations. The next day this committee,


consisting of the Grand Vizier, the Minister of the Interior,
the Minister of Public Works, the Minister of Justice, and
the Grand Master of Artillery, met at the Palace, where
244 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
the Chamberlain, Arif Bey. introduced me and communi-
cated the Sultan's order. I submitted my
contentions to
this committee, and explained the harm that would be
caused to the population of the country by the settlement
of Germans in property belonging to the company which
would be exempt from all taxation. All the Ministers
agreed with me, and recognised the need of modifying the
convention which the Sultan had placed before us, with
instructions to notify the changes which I thought neces-

sary.
I was, however, struck by the coolness with which the
Grand Vizier turned to me and said, " What objections
"
have you to Germans settling in Anatolia ? I replied that

if Germans settled under the conditions


suggested beside the
existing native towns and villages, these latter would not
be able to compete against the foreigners, who would
enjoy the double privilege of being foreigners and of being
exempt from taxation. We should in that case soon have,
sideby side with the native villages, now reduced to misery,
"
flourishing German settlements. If that is all, I ask for
nothing better," he said. I answered warmly that as a
private individual he was free to wish what he liked, but
that as the Grand Vizier it was quite impossible that he
could desire such things to take place. While the Grand
Vizier was having the proccs-verbal drawn up, which was to
be signed and presented to the Sultan, the Chamberlain Arif
Bey came to tell the Grand Vizier that His Majesty thanked
me for my patriotic act in pointing out the disadvantages
which had been accepted, but which had escaped him, and
that the Sultan undertook himself to get them remedied,
by making representations direct to the company, or, if
necessary, through the Ambassador, or even by appealing
to the Emperor himself, and that there was therefore no
need to draw up a proces-verbal. The colonisation, in fact,
was never carried out.
The Anatolian Railway Company, after getting their
THE BAGDAD RAILWAY 245

concession, contented themselves with the Konia line, and


gave up the project of the Csesarea reserving to them-
line,
selves the right to make other plans for the Bagdad Rail-

way. While this was going on, a Mr. Stamforth came to


Constantinople, as the representative of an English group,
to apply for a concession for the Bagdad line. This line
was to leave Scutariand pass by Bolu, Choroum, Sivas, and
Diarbekir, and end Bagdad, with a branch line going to
at
Samsoun. Mr. Stamforth, having accepted an undertaking
to lay down this line with capital obtained from half the
additional tithes apportioned to the agricultural banks, and
the taxes on roads and routes of the vilayets to be served
by this line, the Sultan ordered me to make a study of the
matter with the General Director of Agricultural Banks,
Michael Portocal Effendi, later Michael Pasha, Minister of
the Civil List. To my regret Michael Effendi did not share
my view of the matter, and as the Sultan only sought for
some pretext to reject all requests for concessions from
the English, this petition was not accorded. Mr. Stam-
forth, after several months of fruitless negotiations, had
to return to London, where a little while later he died.
As the uncertainty of my official position continued, and
the political situation became more and more complicated,
I deemed it advisable to give some thought to
my per-
sonal affairs again. I had bought a small forest at Ker-

masti, in the vilayet of Broussa, and I had also obtained


the right from the Minister of Mines and Forests to exploit
the neighbouring forest of Dayama, belonging to the State.
To arrange for the working of these two forests, and for the
transport of the wood to the mouth of the Mickalitch, on
the Sea of Marmora, it was necessary for me to make a
journey to the spot. The difficulty was to obtain the
Sultan's permission to make this trip. I had only to sub-
mit the request to be curtly refused. I was compelled to
embark one night on board a small steamboat which I
chartered to take me direct to the mouth of the Mickalitch.
146 tSMAIL KEMA1 BEY
We Left Kadikuia at midnight, and about half-way across
wove assailed by a storm which threatened to sink the boat.
After a few hours of struggle against the waves, which
were enormous for Sttch a small boat, we arrived at the
island of Callinmos about dawn, wet to the skin. We
rested that day and the next night in the little town, the
inhabitants and the local authorities of which received us
very hospitably. During ray stay in the town of Kennasti,
a charming and picturesque place which 1 had visited
e years previously, an earthquake took place, which.

luckily, though Very terrifying, did not cause SUCh material


damage or loss of lite in these regions as it did at Constan-
h was the centre of the disturbance.
It was during my stay here that the news of as- t':

jdent Carnot arrived in Turkey, though the


newspapers announced his death as being due to sudden
natural causes
;

- as a colic. The Sultan never


allowed the press to publish news of political assassinations.
and v any such event occurred, it was represented
•.

.-.- an ordinary s it was not until we received


Kurop lewspapers that we learn e real

ge
On •\ return to Constantinople 1 continued to go to the
Palaee where 1 received communi
ning the different political events that took p"
\ kin, Ant Bey, sent me a

teleg c -.taming the imperial request I air to I

1
my arrival idi Be] notified

bange mj
was going to give
.•.'" t to him in v.

a - that 1 should remain fai raid


uvserv c feelings of -
ation 01

lory of ]

esp< ctalry at l\ '. vas not


very 1 tive to m< at shocked me most was
AN AMBASSADOR'S BLUNDER 247

this request for a writtenstatement of the nature which I


have indicated. It was the
first time the Sultan had

openly expressed the suspicions he entertained regarding


me on account of my former relations with Midhat Pasha.
I refused the
request point-blank, and drew up a letter on
the spot which I submitted to His Majesty through Arif
Bey. In this I spoke of my former relations with Midhat
Pasha, with whom I had had the happiness to work for the
good of the State, to which the late Statesman was so
I continued to preserve my excellent
devotedly attached.
memories of him, and, since he had now departed from
this world, I begged the Sultan to leave the judgment of
his acts to theSupreme Arbiter and to history.
was quite in the Sultan's nature that his obstinacy
It

should increase in face of the refusal which his offer met


with.
The ex- Ambassador at Teheran, who was being trans-
ferred to Vienna, was
at Constantinople, and an amusing
incident occurred with regard to him just about this time.
Meeting him one day at the Palace, he told me and some
others that M.Cambon, the French Ambassador, had visited
him since his arrival at the capital, and he had come to
ask the Sultan for permission to return the visit. It
seemed strange that M. Cambon should have spontaneously
visited this Ambassador newly arrived from Persia, and I
asked him ifhe had not previously called on M. Cambon.
He replied emphatically in the negative. Continuing the
conversation, I he had yet paid a call on the Aus-
asked if

trian Ambassador, and he assured me that he had done so.


I soon realised what had happened. The naive man,
intending to visit the Austrian Ambassador, had by mistake
paid his respects to the representative of France, and,
although a conversation had taken place between them, he
had not noticed his error. Acting on my advice, he at
once hurried off to pay his visit to the Austrian Ambas-
sador.
248 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
For three days I was pressed in all sorts of ways to
accept this post, and elaborate promises were made to me
from the Palace if I would do so. The Grand Vizier, Djevad
Pasha, was also called upon to persuade me, but on the
third day the Sultan accepted my refusal, and on going
by invitation to the Grand Vizier's, I was able to inform
him that the Sultan had stopped his insistence. This
episode was not without its utility for me, since the Sultan,
impressed by the way in which I had refused his offer and
continued to defend the memory of Midhat Pasha, changed
his attitude towards me.
He began to take an interest in me, and spontaneously
gave orders that I should be given my retired pay, which
had been in abeyance for over two years, and that it
should date from the day of my departure from Beyrouth.
This instruction gave rise to another incident. The regu-
lations concerning these matters of retired pay required the
decision of the Council of State, and, during the discussion
of this body, an altercation took place between my
cousin, Ferit Bey, later Pasha and Grand Vizier, and Izzet
Bey, later Izzet Pasha, Chamberlain and Secretary to the
Sultan, who were then both members of the Council. The
former, although he was my cousin, opposed the payment
of arrears to me as being contrary to the usages the latter
;

was in favour of the payment. The dispute ended in a


free fight, which naturally caused a great scandal. Two
days later they were called to the Palace, where, after
explanations, they became reconciled, and I received all
the pay due to me for the two years, and regular monthly
payments later. The vacant post at Teheran was filled by
Halid Bey Baban, who had succeeded me at Beyrouth and
was now Governor-General of Kastamounia.
The sad events that had taken place at Sassoun and in
other parts inhabited by the Armenians served as a pretext
for the Powers to unite on the question of reforms. About
this time I was called one morning early to the Palace. I
GOVERNOR OF TRIPOLI 249
was received by the Chamberlain, Arif Bey, who handed
me a document to read which consisted of the enumera-
tion of a long series of reforms to be applied in Tripoli,
written in pencil at the dictation of the Sultan himself.
"
After I had read them, Arif Bey said to me, Those are
the Sultan's wishes for this important African country,
which has for some time been engaging His Majesty's atten-
tion. Hehas decided to entrust you with full powers
if you undertake to apply these reforms literally,
will
and in this way render a great service to His Majesty."
I asked Arif Bey if it was the Sultan himself who had

dictated these notes, which contained all that one could


desire for the good of Tripoli. On his replying in the
affirmative, did not hesitate to agree to the Sultan's
I

desire, and undertook punctually to carry out my duty


in accepting this new post, on condition that I was

given the power that I had been promised. At the


full
same time begged Arif Bey to convey my congratulations
I
"
to His Majesty, and to add the message, If the Sultan has

such a power of conception, why has he so long deprived


his Empire of the benefit of it ? The details of this pro-

ject are just what we are all anxious for and what the
country stands so much in need of."
Arif Bey, on his return from the Sultan, to whom he had
carried my acceptance, set to work to put the notes in
order in the form of instructions, while I on my side wrote
a letter to the Sultan containing my thanks and a formal
undertaking to carry out his wishes. The official order
regardingmy appointment was transmitted to the Sublime
Porte, and the next day I received the Vizieral letter
informing me of my appointment as Governor-General of
Tripoli, as well as the instructions drawn up by His Majesty
which I had accepted.

Being, as I was, by virtue of these instructions and the


full powers given me, entrusted with the organisation and

the civil, judicial, and military service of the country,


250 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
which had up till then been administered on the old lines,
and as I had to carry out all works of public utility, such
as the port of the town of Tripoli, and a line of penetration
into the interior of the country as far as the Sudan, as
well as other important works, I gathered together a
Government staff, consisting of persons competent and
worthy of confidence. I presented the list of the persons
of my choice, and it was accepted in its entirety by His
Majesty, some of the persons being promoted in grade.
My nomination under the circumstances and these other
appointments constituted an event very much out of the
ordinary, which attracted a good deal of public attention.
But there was not the slightest doubt it was all merely a
spectacular mise-en-scene on the part of the Sultan. He
had two ends in view. In the first place, he wanted to show
the Powers that he was actually and seriously concerning
himself with questions of reform. Secondly, he hoped,
thereby, to offer a pledge of his good intentions as regarded
Great Britain, of whose Eastern politics I was supposed to
be a fervent partisan.
The affair also attracted the attention of M. Paul Cam-
bon, who must have expressed a wish to know what it was
allabout for the Sultan to order me to go to the French
Embassy and explain the nature of my mission in this
country bordering on Algeria and Tunisia, with which the
Tripolitan Government had to establish neighbourly rela-
tions. paid this visit, accompanied by Munir Bey (later
I
Munir Pasha, Ambassador at Paris), who at this time
served as the intermediary of Abd-ul-Hamid in his personal
communications with the French and Russian Embassies.
The French Ambassador was satisfied with my explana-
tions.

Having thus completed the appointment of my staff, and


being ready to leave, one of the best boats of the Massouss6
was placed at my disposal to take me to Tripoli. My
family and the whole of the staff were on board. I then
A JOURNEY DELAYED 251

went to the Palace to present my respects and to take leave


of the Sultan. But during the audience of His Majesty,
he expressed his desire to retain me at Constantinople for
some time longer in connection with Armenian affairs, and
asked me what pretext I could make in order that the
postponement of my departure might appear natural. I
him was ill and ought to be cared for, and
told my wife
that this would therefore be no pretext, but a real reason
for postponing my
departure. It was impossible to delay
the sailing of the vessel, as there were others on board
outside of our party leaving for Tripoli. So my family was
disembarked, and the ship sailed with the personnel and
other travellers.
CHAPTER XV
The Armenian Question

The Eastern question, as it is called, however one regards


it, always recalls to mind the famous labyrinth of the
my
fable with its Minos and Minotaur. Europe seems to be
eternally condemned to contribute her human sacrifices
to the solution of this problem, for ever since the Western
nations adopted and crystallised the idea of the State,
nearly all wars have had for their cause or effect the
East. Europe's great difficulty is to find a Theseus to
overcome the Minotaur. When that is done, an issue must
be found out of the labyrinth, and, it seems to me, all this
can only be brought about through the love of some Oriental
Ariadne, to serve as guide and help.
The East, looked at from the ethnological point of view,
contains different races, different peoples, different nations.
When I say different nations, I mean such as have or have
had a political existence and might still be capable of
fulfilling their historical rights and duties. These facts
and these distinctions have to be borne in mind at a time
when millions of human beings are sacrificing themselves
for ideas, and those who handle the destinies of humanity
should know how to make the distinctions between all

these peoples so as to establish an equitable distribution of


justice.
In the first place, among all these peoples of the Orient
are the Armenians, for whom I have an attachment not
merely in the political sense, but from the humanitarian
and personal points of view. I have all my life had the
252
ARMENIAN MISFORTUNES 253

good fortune to count as my intimate friends men who


were among the most distinguished of this race, such as the
famous Patriarch of Constantinople, Kerimian, later the
Catholikhos of Echmeyazin, the Patriarch Nerses, Odian
Effendi, the most illustrious of the statesmen and collabor-
ators of Midhat Pasha in his work of liberal reform, and
numbers of others, through whom I was able to study the
soul of the Armenians and gauge their intellectual and
moral capacity.
Icould never explain nor understand, any more than I
could acquiescein, the martyrdom suffered by this brave
and hard-working people by any theory of the Sultan
Abd-ul-Hamid's frenzy or caprice. Unfortunately, destiny,
just as it persecutes individuals, also often persecutes
peoples. History shows that this brave people have always

been persecuted and massacred in long past times by the
Assyrians or the Persians, later by the Romans, the Greeks
or the Arabs, the Mongols or the Seljukian Turks, or even
by some fractions of their own numbers converted to one
of the new religions, or who had returned to their own
ancient faith. Even
before the downfall of the Byzantine
Empire and the rise of the Ottoman, the Armenians had
ceased to be a kingdom, either as greater Armenia or later
as smaller Armenia. But in relating the misfortunes of
the Armenians, it should be borne in mind that, from the
beginning of the Ottoman Empire until the time of Abd-ul-
Hamid, they enjoyed a long period of relative peace. All
this time the Armenians were living in peace and safety in
all parts of the Empire, side by side with the Turks and

other Mussulman inhabitants. This mutual confidence


was based not only on aifinity, but because the Armenians
were in the eyes of the Turks a useful element in the economic
life of the country, and, being already in possession of their
national they constituted no menace to the
existence,
dominant race. I remember
seeing at Kutahia a marble
slab erected to record the act of Jacoub Tchelebi, of the
254 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
family of the Ghermeyans, father-in-law of the Sultan
Bayezid, and grandfather of the Sultan Mehmet I, who
consecrated a portion of his annual revenues given for the
furtherance of pious works, to the supplying of oil for the
lamps of the Armenian church at Kutahia.
For this harmony between the Mussulman people and
the Armenians, and the special benevolence extended to
these latter by the Turkish Government, there were also
specific reasons. The Government of the Sultans had
always nurtured a certain suspicion of and reserve towards
the Greeks and the Greek Patriarchate, which represented
in their eyes the survival of the decayed Byzantine Empire.
About the Armenians, on the other hand, there was nothing
to inspire distrust or suspicion. Always considered the
most faithful Christian subjects of the Empire, they were
called the Mileti sadika (" the faithful people ").
When Turkey entered upon a course of civilisation and
progress, the first Christians to enjoy the benefit of the
new regime of equality were the Armenians. The first
Christian Ministers and high dignitaries of the Porte were
Armenians. During the times of Rechid, Fuad, and Aali
Pashas, the Chancellery of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
was almost continuously confided to Armenians ;
so was
almost the diplomatic correspondence. When, after the
all

Crimean War, Turkish statesmen started to work for a


Constitutional system (about i860), they granted to the
Armenian Church and community a regime based on a
fundamental law which was intended as an experiment in
constitutions and was to form a model for later use. Among
those who worked in later years with Midhat Pasha at the
establishment and working of the Ottoman Constitution, a
large number were Armenian dignitaries. Among them
Odian Effendi particularly distinguished himself. Even
Abd-ul-Hamid continued to have Armenians as Ministers,
particularly for the department of the Civil List.
It was not until 1893 that all was suddenly changed for
ABD-UL-HAMID'S MOTIVES 255

the Armenians. The question arises why and in what


manner did Abd-ul-Hamid undertake the extermination of
an entire people by the organisation of wholesale and fear-
ful massacres ? On what did he rely that he could dare to
commit such acts without being in dread of Europe ? The
facts as I knew and witnessed them at the time will en-

lighten the reader on these two points.


Abd-ul-Hamid, who had inherited from his forebears a
spirit of Oriental absolutism, joined to elaborate cunning
and refined hypocrisy, could see in those who surrounded
him only enemies and conspirators. Haunted as he was
by the fear of encountering the same fate as his two prede-
cessors, every measure of cunning or violence which he
could take against no matter whom, seemed to him to be
an act of legitimate defence. Everything that had been
accomplished in the way of reform or high politics during
the time of his father and his predecessors he considered to
be misfortunes for the dynasty and the Empire. He re-
garded the Western Powers, and especially Great Britain,
who had helped towards the maintenance and the uplifting
of the Ottoman Empire, as enemies from this very fact.

He hated the statesmen of the past even those who had
aided to bring about his accession, because, working as they
were for the consolidation of the Empire by the promulga-
tion of laws that assured the union of the peoples and the
advent of an era of justice and equality, they were all the
time restricting his personal power. He did not hesitate
to get rid of them one after another. But there still re-
mained the nation, of which he could not get rid, and an
absolute necessity in his eyes was to preserve the mass of
the people from the contagion of liberal ideas and the
desire to enjoy the happiness of liberal government.
As a matter of fact, the great mass of the Mussulman
population, Turkish, Arab, Albanian or other, stationary
as they had become through the regime to which they were

subjected, and condemned for their intellectual develop-


256 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
ment to follow the wishes and instruction which he imposed
on them, did not give him much cause for anxiety. But it
was a different matter with the Christians, who frequented
the foreign educational establishments in the country, who
travelled, and carried on constant relations with Europe
and America, and he felt powerless to stay their evolution.
In the Sultan's mind then, the Armenians, spread as they
were all over the Empire and in close relationship with their
Mussulman neighbours, whom they resembled in manners
and customs, and whose language they spoke, were the only
people in the Empire who might propagate liberal and


from his point of view, pernicious ideas. The same
Armenians who had been considered useful to the State by
former liberal statesmen he now regarded as highly dan-
gerous, and for the same reasons. The Armenian was the
venomous snake whose head should be crushed.
If these were the chief reasons for the Sultan's hatred of

the Armenians, there was also another powerful motive.


Great Britain, as I have said, was his bete noire, and Great
Britain had acquired the right, by the Treaty of Cyprus, to
demand reforms in Asia Minor. As the Armenians were
the most active of the inhabitants of Asia Minor, and as
they had considerable commercial relations with Manchester
and the other large industrial centres of Great Britain, they
constituted, from this fact, a dangerous element in his eyes.
Having seen the reasons for the Monarch's hatred, one
asks now how he obtained the courage necessary to carry
out what he did ?

On the morrow of his accession, at the very moment that


the fate of the Empire was being discussed at the Confer-
ence of the Admiralty at Constantinople, while the Minis-
ters were struggling against Russian pretensions on the

subject of Bulgaria and Bosnia-Herzegovina,


Abd-ul-Hamid
was carrying on underhand and secret negotiations with
General Ignatieff and Count Zichy, the Russian and
Austro-Hungarian Ambassadors respectively, offering to
SULTAN AND TSAR 257

accept the arrangements come to between the two Em-


perors at Reichstadt, the only condition made being that
these defenders of the principle of autocracy should pro-
mise to protect him against liberal reformers and inno-
vators. After the Berlin Congress, when Bismarck had
succeeded in imposing the Austro-Hungarian Alliance on
his Imperial master, in spite of the comminatory letter of
Alexander II, and the interview of the two Emperors at
Alexandrowno, Oubrechef, the chief of the Russian Etat
Major, and the confidential man of the most powerful
Russian Minister of that time, Miljutin, came to Constan-
tinople on a confidential mission from the Tsar. Prince
Lobanov, the Russian Ambassador at the time, obtained
a private audience with the Sultan for Oubrechef, at which
neither the Minister for Foreign Affairs nor the First Inter-
preter of the Imperial Divan was present. At this tete-d-
tete between the Sultan and the Tsar's
envoy, a formal and
secret understanding was concluded, by which the Sultan

undertook to give up his right that had been guaranteed

by the Treaty of Berlin to occupy militarily the Passes
of the Balkans, while the Tsar undertook to defend the
Sultan and his throne against all aggression from without
and uprising within the Empire. It was the same Oubre-
chef who, about the same time, made advances to the Re-
public at Paris with a view to a Franco-Russian Alliance —
advances which Bismarck maliciously divulged, remarking
that France had "confessed" to Germany much as a
faithful wifewould confess to her husband gallant advances
that had been made to her ! Was Bismarck not also
made aware of what had passed between the Tsar's emis-
sary and the Sultan ? The intimacy that followed between
Abd-ul-Hamid and Berlin leaves little room for doubt on
this matter, but Bismarck was
evidently interested in
keeping the secret of one of these advances while making
known the other.
Abd-ul-Hamid showed himself really clever in this matter.
17
258 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
On the one hand, he was assured of the support promised
by the Tsar, which, from his point of view, had the desired
result ; on the other hand, he made use of the fact to estab-
lish intimate relations with Berlin, although in this case
the relations, as usual, were purely for the benefit of Berlin
— "
he was working, as the French say, pour le roi de Prusse."
Among the masses of the Armenian population, there
were some who preserved memories of the alluring pro-
still

mises made in the preceding centuries by Peter the Great,


Catherine the Great, and Nicolas I, but the elite among this
people were convinced rather that their national evolution
should take place under the auspices of the Sultan.
Strengthened and aided in this belief by persecution and
arbitrary acts on the part of Russian Tsarism, they suc-
ceeded in making the whole population share their expecta-
tions. Russia's attitude had changed indeed since her
conquest of the great portion of Armenia, and, whereas in
Turkey the Armenian schools and churches enjoyed con-
siderable liberty, and Armenian nationality was in favour,
in Russia the Armenian was looked upon as a dissenter and
a revolutionary, an enemy of the Tsar and of Orthodoxy.
Tsarism had, by arbitrary methods and forced proselytism,
sought to denationalise the Armenians and convert them
to Orthodoxy. Even the rights of the Catholikhos of
Echmeyazin were for some time contested. An agitation
was in consequence started in Russia by revolutionary
societies like the Hunchakists, who got into contact with
their fellow-countrymen in Turkey with the object of

defending their rights in Russia though those in Turkey
always protested their fidelity and gratitude towards that
country.
This movement of nationalist unrest in the regions bor-
dering on the frontier, and the action of the evangelical
churches in the same direction, alarmed the unquiet spirit
of the Sultan. At the first signal that came from Sassoun,
the Sultan issued orders to take rigorous measures against
REFORMS PROMISED 259

the Armenians. The first result of this was the terrible


massacres of Sassoun in 1894.
These massacres naturally aroused great indignation in
Great Britain. The Embassy at Constantinople had to re-
monstrate and to demand an inquiry on the spot, and
exemplary punishment for the authors of the criminal act.
The Sultan, feeling sure of the help promised him from
Russia, did all he could to resist the pressure from Great
Britain. He accused the Armenians themselves of revolt-
ing, and complained that the British Government permitted
the Hunchakists to stay and plot in that country, their
leader, Naza Bek, being in London and in constant contact
with the Nihilists there. Sir Philip Currie persisted, and
sent his military attache and the consul to Sassoun to
make an inquiry into the massacres. The Sultan, in fright,
sent for Kiamil Pasha, the ex-Grand Vizier, one night, and
instructed him Ambassador and explain to him
to go to the
that the Sultan had given no order to massacre, but to
put down the revolt by legal methods. If there had been
excess, it was the fault of the First Secretary in drawing
up the telegraphic order given to the Commander of the
Fourth Army Corps. Kiamil Pasha was also instructed
—as the Sultan did not wish that the inquiry should be
solely

under British auspices to tell Sir Philip that His
Majesty wished that representatives of the Russian and
French Embassies should accompany the British Attache,
and also that he wanted to have a high court of justice
established to consider finally the cases of those condemned
by the local tribunal.
The Sultan rejected all the British demands, feeling
himself strong in the support of Russia, promised by the
Tsar and guaranteed by the presence of Prince Lobanov,
the depositary of this secret pact, at the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs. Nevertheless, in order to create a diversion,

Abd-ul-Hamid promised reforms general and radical re-

forms at once. It was during this struggle that the
260 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
Sultan was carrying on against the necessity of making
reforms that my nomination as Governor-General of Tripoli
took place, as narrated in another chapter. The morning
after the Sultan told me to postpone my departure for
this post, as he wanted me in connection with Armenian
questions, Sir Adam
Block, the First Dragoman of the
British Embassy, came to see me, and showed me a pro-
gramme of Armenian reforms that had been drawn up by
the three Ambassadors.
But the Sultan, either convinced that Russia would
never permit such a policy in favour of the Armenians, or
because he was ill-informed by Munir Bey, his intermediary
with the two Ambassadors, continued to feel himself safe
from the Powers on the question of these reforms. On the
occasion of a visit I paid to Sir Philip Currie, the Ambas-
sador, willing to preserve the prestige of the Ottoman
throne, and desirous of nothing better than that the Sultan
should return to the path laid out by his predecessor, told
me he would be pleased if I could succeed in making Abd-ul-
Hamid understand that it would be in his own interests as
Sultan he would himself take the initiative and not leave
if

it Ambassadors to be obliged to force upon him this


to the

programme of reforms, of which I had seen a copy.


Accordingly, on leaving the Embassy, I went direct to
the Palace, and submitted Sir Philip's suggestion to the
Sultan in writing. Abd-ul-Hamid, worried, at once sent for
Munir Bey and questioned him, but the latter repeated the
assurances he had already given His Majesty. Thereupon
"
the Sultan told me it was very naive" of me to believe
what the Ambassador told me, because Sir Philip Currie' s
desire was to use me as an instrument to intimidate him
(the Sultan) and make him do things which the Ambassador
would never dare to propose himself. I expressed my
regret at the Sultan's credulity, and assured him that four
days later the Note would be officially presented. The
Note was, indeed, presented on the day I had predicted, and
POLICY OF THE POWERS 261

the result was to make His Majesty very angry with Munir
Bey.
The Grand Vizier at this period was Djevad Pasha, a
man who had risen in the space of four or five years from

being a simple officer and aide-de-camp of the Sultan to


be a Marshal and Governor-General ot Crete, whence he
came to Constantinople as Grand Vizier. This Grand
Vizier's ambition was to be a soldier always rather than a
statesman. On
the occasion of his first reception of the
Diplomatic Corps, in reply to the political agent of Bulgaria,
M. Grecoff, who expressed a hope that the policy towards
the Principality would remain the same as before, the
Grand Vizier said that he had no opinions of his own to
express, and that as a simple soldier his only duty was to
carry out the orders of his master He was faithful
!

throughout his political career to this principle until the


day when he yielded his position to Said Pasha, during
whose term of office the negotiations on the Armenian re-
forms assumed an acute phase.
The Sultan vehemently resisted the representations of
the Powers, which I must say were presented in a very
curious form. The Foreign Office and the British Ambas-
sador followed a straight and unwavering policy, but it
was different with France and Russia. The Ambassador
of the latter Power, Prince Lobanov, faithful to his engage-
ments and the political interest of his country, continued
to reject any proposals for Armenian reforms. Opposed
on principle to considering the claims of Oriental peoples,
he especially opposed reforms in a country and for a people
whom Russia would never have allowed to become a
— —
State a second Bulgaria on the flank of the Empire.
M. Hanotaux, the French Minister, who had recollections
of his own
stay in Constantinople as Councillor of Embassy,
and Charge d' Affaires, and who had preserved a
later as

feeling of respect and admiration for Abd-ul-Hamid, while


desirous of being agreeable, was, on the other hand, intent
262 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
on strengthening the alliance with Russia, and therefore of

associating himself with the political views of his colleague


Lobanov. The Ambassadors of these two Powers, obliged
to consider the guiding policy of their chiefs at home, were,
however, impressed by what they had seen on the spot,
and could ill sacrifice their feelings of humanity in favour
of a people whose terrible tribulations they had witnessed.
All the Sultan's animosity, then, was reserved for Sir
Philip Currie, and he was supported in these sentiments by
his Ministers, especially by those who considered it their
chief duty to minister to the Monarch's caprices and foster
his antipathies for their own purposes.
I remember an amusing little incident which will show
the feeling that reigned at this time. The Minister for
Foreign Affairs, in the presence of a number of official
personages, in the room of the First Chamberlain of the
Palace, related to Hadji Ali Bey (with the intention, of
course, that it should be carried to the Sultan) a dream he
said he had had, in which, while quarrelling with the Ar-
menian Patriarch, he had seized Sir Philip Currie by the
throat and thrown him to the ground. We were amused
at the recital, but it may be that the Minister, who had
formerly been Charge d' Affaires at Berlin, remembered a
dream of the German Emperor William I, of which that
monarch, very much impressed, gave a detailed account
Bismarck, and as the Sultan had not had such
in a letter to
a dream, the Minister for Foreign Affairs thought he would
oblige by having it himself.
An alternative scheme of Armenian reforms was now pre-
sented by the Sultan, which, though it bore all the appear-
ance of extending the benefits of reform to the whole
Empire, in truth contained no practical reform at all. At
the same time, the Sultan, remembering that he had re-
served the post for me, informed me of his intention
of appointing Marshal Chakir Pasha, an old friend of
mine, who was also bound to me by ties of relationship,
LECTURING THE SULTAN 263

as High Commissary for the Armenian inquiry, and to


apply the measures that had been decided upon. I highly
approved the choice, as I knew Chakir Pasha's qualities,
and it was my pleasant duty to inform my friend of his
appointment before he received his official nomination.
Chakir Pasha had for a long time been t\he Sultan's Ambas-
sador at Petrograd, where he had acquired the confidence
and personal good-will of the Tsar, so tfiat his appointment
had the advantage of being agreeable to the Russian Cabinet.
The Sultan, who was very much irritated at my insistance
upon reforms that had been already adopted en principe,
and, above all, at the project I had recently presented to
him, called me one day to the Palace, and, leaving the
Council of Ministers who were assembled in one of the
salons to wait for him, did his best to try to dissuade me
from the with which my acts and communi-
liberal ideas
cations to him were inspired. His Majesty expressed the
regret that I had not properly studied the history of the
Empire, and insisted that all its misfortunes arose from his
father's having submitted to the Charter (the Tanzimat)
which Rechid Pasha, strongly supported by Great Britain,
had promulgated. According to the Sultan, Rechid Pasha
was as great an enemy of the Empire and of the dynasty
as Great Britain herself. In reply I could only point out
to His Majesty that was regrettable that he himself
it

had studied the history of his Empire wrongly. If Turkey,


from being in the position of a mere tribe, had succeeded
in becoming a great State, and in taking a place in the
Concert of European Powers, it was thanks to the Charter
which his father had promulgated on the advice of its
author, Rechid Pasha, with the support of the British
Cabinet. Furthermore, I begged His Majesty to postpone
this discussion to another time, and to give his whole atten-
tion to the discussions of the Council of Ministers with
regard to the burning question, which was that of the
Armenians.
264 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
In the meanwhile the report on the result of the inquiry
made at Moush had arrived at Constantinople, but in
of the Sultan to carry out
spite of the repeated promises
reforms, was not followed up. The Armenians of Con-
it

stantinople,becoming exasperated, sent to the Palace, to


the Porte, and to ihe Ambassadors a circular announcing
their intention of folding a pacific demonstration before
the Porte and the Palace (on September 30th, 1895) in order
to give voice to their desiderata. The Armenian Patriarch,
foreseeing and fearing the consequences of such a demon-
stration, did all he could to prevent it, but in vain. The
Porte, which had the right, and whose duty even it was,
having learned their intention, to send for the Armenian
leaders, to ask them to present their desiderata in another
form, and to forbid the demonstration, not only did no-
thing at all in the matter, but by its attitude rather pro-
voked the demonstration, with the evident object of pro-
fiting by it in order to take repressive
measures against the
demonstrators. Soldiers were posted in position, and
people armed with cudgels took up positions hidden
behind
them. When the demonstrators were prevented from
approaching the Sublime Porte, a struggle took place, and
as the result of a shot, fired it was not known whence
or how, which wounded an officer, an attack of a most
ferocious description on the Armenian demonstrators as
well as on the population in general at once took place.
A general panic seized the population, and similar
massacres took place all over the country and in Asia
Minor. The Ambassadors came down the Bosphorus and
presented a joint Note, signed by their doyen (the repre-
sentative of Austria-Hungary), pointing out the gravity of
the events and demanding that efficacious measures be
taken to prevent the recurrence of such acts. A day or
two later the Armenian population at Constantinople,
feeling themselves continually menaced, took refuge in the

churches, where they locked themselves in, declaring their


A NEW CAMPAIGN 265

intention to die of hunger rather than be butchered. The


situation became exceedingly grave. Said Pasha was dis-
charged from office, and Kiamil Pasha was appointed
Grand Vizier. persuade the Sultan to agree to
I tried to
the application of the fundamental laws or charters of the
country, and the carrying out of the Wganic laws in the
provinces. Sir Philip Currie, in the name of his Govern-
ment, insisted that the Empire shorid return to the old
form of government from the Porte, with an independent

Ministry responsible for its acts. Thereupon the Sultan


summoned Kiamil Pasha, and told him he had decided
to carry out this latter recommendation and form a
responsible Ministry, with himself as Grand Vizier.
Kiamil Pasha, convinced of the sincerity of the Sultan's
declarations, thesame evening handed to His Majesty a
formal programme of this proposal. To his surprise, this
greatly angered the Sultan, who, since their last interview,
had apparently entirely changed his mind, and had already
decided on getting rid of Kiamil Pasha. Abd-ul-Hamid,
having by his actions and by his methods of governing the
country caused so much misery and unhappiness, and
having lost the confidence of his people, was now seeking
to regain this by the increase of his prestige as Caliph.
The methods employed in this policy were to attribute all
the misfortunes of Turkey to Great Britain, and the instru-
ments he made use of in this so-called Pan- Islamic policy
were several sheiks —
Arabs, or rather Syrians, the most
influential and active of whom was one Ebul-Houda. As
the campaign was going to assume more extended propor-
tions, he had just had the idea of adding to the number the

Syrian, Izzet Bey, later Izzet Pasha, whom the Sultan


considered capable of playing an important political role.
As Ebul-Houda, Izzet Bey, and their acolytes were by prin-
ciple enemies of Kiamil Pasha, they
had several days before
the presentation of this programme of the new Ministry
of retiring Kiamil
persuaded the Sultan of the necessity
266 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
Pasha. The programme was made the excuse, and Kiamil
Pasha ceased to be Grand Vizier after only thirty-five days
of office. He was replaced by Rifaat Pasha, the Minister
of the Interior, whose role in the Cabinet of Kiamil had
consisted simply in carrying to the Sultan reports of
everything that wa^ discussed and decided at the Council
of Ministers. His utter lack of capacity made it plain
that there was no hVpe of any administrative or political
measure being realised while he retained office.

Chakir Pasha, as High Commissioner, accompanied by


a numerous staff, had already left for the Asia Minor
provinces. He set himself to the task of applying the
reforms contained in the programme of the Sultan which —
had not been published. Nevertheless, no improvement
nor pacification took place. The massacres in the provinces
continued, and the Armenians of Constantinople, living in
a state of the greatest anxiety and fear, still shut them-
selves up in the churches every Friday, the day of the
Selamlik. The Cabinet had come almost entirely to take
no further notice of the matter, but the Ambassadors at

Constantinople considered themselves obliged to try and


find a remedy for this shocking state of affairs.
M. de Nelidoff, the Russian Ambassador, conceived the
idea of doubling the stationnaires which each Ambassador
had a right to have at Constantinople, and of disembarking
a contingent of troops from each. This proposal was
adopted by the Powers and communicated to the Sultan.
His Majesty, whose habit it was to begin by resisting any
proposal, this time saw a real danger for himself in the
measure proposed by the Powers. The possible appearance
of warships before Constantinople gave him good reason
to fear a rising in the capital. An autograph letter from
the Tsar recommending this same measure deprived him of
all hope of help from Russia, whose attitude up to then

had been his only comfort. At this juncture an aide-de-


camp came to fetch me one night to go to the Palace. On
A CHANCE LOST 267

my arrival I found the Sultan completely transformed. He


seemed to be convinced that there was nothing more to hope
from Russia, and that Great Britain alone could ensure him
salvation. Being now desirous of accepting all the reforms
recommended, so long as the warships did not come to
Constantinople, he ordered me to go tolthe British Embassy
at Pera to make this arrangement. Although it seemed
I

to me extremely late, I drew up on a £>iece of paper with a


to be applied.
pencil the principal points of the reforms
They consisted in the formation of a Cabinet of Ministers,
of governing
given the task by a Halt (or Imperial Rescript)
the country on their own responsibility, and convoking a
constituent assembly for the revision of the Constitution,
which was to be brought into harmony with the needs of
the time and the new situation of the Empire, occasioned
by events since the proclamation of the Constitution. I
was authorised to undertake with the Embassy, in the
name of the Sultan, the application of these measures, and
to ask for the postponement of the arrival of the warships
until the next day, when this Rescript would have appeared
and the Cabinet would be formed.
Unfortunately, Sir Philip Currie was at that moment en
route on his return from London, where he had been on
leave. Sir Michael Herbert (afterwards Ambassador at

Washington) was Charge d'Affaires, but I did not know


him personally. At midnight I went to the house of Sir
Adam Block, the First Dragoman, and together we went to
the Embassy, where Sir Michael Herbert, roused from his
bed, received us. We had a long conversation, which,
unfortunately, bore no fruit. I tried my utmost to per-

suade the Charge d'Affaires that it was a unique occasion


to profitby the Sultan's disposal to grant what would
never be obtained from him in other circumstances, which
would assure real government to the country and establish
order throughout. It seemed to me that this time there

was no danger in believing in the Sultan's sincerity. If the


268 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
next day His Majesty's decision was actually realised, the
result would be far and above all the advantages one could

hope to obtain from the presence of five warships before


the Golden Horn. But Sir Michael Herbert could not
make up his mind to submit the matter immediately and
confidentially to Lor i Salisbury.
In face of this obstinacy, I then advised Sir Michael,
no longer as the Sultan's messenger, but in my private
capacity as a patriot, to allow the whole fleet, which was
then at Lemnos, to enter Constantinople harbour and force
on the Sultan the will of Great Britain, whose only desire
was salvation for the Empire and peace for her people.
But after five hours of conversation I was compelled to
return to the Palace and announce that my mission had
failed. Thus, through the lack of decision of this diplomat,
once more a great opportunity was lost for Turkey.
Deeply did I regret the absence of Sir Philip Currie. If
he had been at Constantinople at this time, this opportunity
would not have been lost, and the affairs of the East would
have taken on an entirely different aspect for the good of
everyone. But there is a fatality in events which cannot

be avoided they take the course prescribed by destiny.
The vessels arrived, and the Sultan's apprehensions were
not realised. But in spite of the warships, the massacres
continued, and Europe thought no more of them.
Everyone believed there was no Armenia left, but the
Armenians insistedon proving that they existed, and I
really think the Sultan also wished tohave Armenians in
order that he might suppress them.
In the month of August some twenty Armenian revolu-
tionaries arrived at Constantinople, and at high noon,
armed with revolvers and bombs, entered the Ottoman
Bank, which they threatened to blow up if they were not
supplied with sauf-conduits to leave Constantinople in

safety. The Ambassadors intervened, the sauf-conduits


were given, and the revolutionaries, accompanied by the
AN ENIGMA 269

dragomans of the Embassies, were taken on board the


yacht of Sir Edgar Vincent, General Director of the Otto-
man Bank, whence, after a magnificent feast, they departed.
The next day the massacres recommenced all over Con-
stantinople, and lasted three days.
It is indeed difficult to explain this enigma how was it
:

that, at a time when no one could (enter Constantinople


without being examined and authorised, twenty revolu-
tionaries succeeded in coming into the capital, in walking in
broad daylight through the busiest streets, and entering the
bank, which was guarded by military ? How is it that
after this affair thousands of the lower classes of the popula-
tion were in the streets armed with cudgels, intent on mas-

sacring the innocent population ? How is it that the same


day the man who most enjoyed the Sultan's confidence
hurried to withdraw his own balance at the bank ? One
does not dare believe in a diabolical connivance, but in
any case I consider the audacity of the twenty men who
planned this coup as criminal as the reprisals taken on the
Armenians.
The Sultan's Palace, which was justly considered to be
the heart of the evil genius of the Empire, where Abd-ul-
Hamid concentrated all his autocratic power, and whence,
with extraordinary energy, he directed all the administra-
tive wheels of this immense country, had the advantage
also of being the rendezvous of all the best minds of the

Empire. Many a functionary and official exchanged views


on the country's politics with extraordinary frankness,
giving free vent to criticisms such as one imagines are
only to be heard in Liberal countries. Besides those who
surrounded the great Master with the incense of ridiculous
flattery, there were others who did not hesitate to criticise
with severity not only the acts of the Ministers, but even
those of the Monarch himself.
The Armenian massacres and other troubles in the Empire
combined to cause the greatest distress, and occupied the
270 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
minds of many of the highest persons attached to the ser-
vice of the Sultan ;
and I must say, Abd-ul-Hamid permitted
observations and criticisms to be made to him, even in a

disagreeable manner, that few Sovereigns or Ministers of


Liberal countries would have allowed. After a series of
conversations and a^ thorough study of all the means that
might be adopted to stop this evil that was threatening the
I

existence of the Em\oire, some of us resolved to make a


collective appeal to the Sultan to force him to change his

system, which was so universally condemned. I suggested


to Ghazi Osman Pasha, Marshal of the Court, to my friend
Marshal Chakir Pasha and Marshal Dervish Pasha, all three
general aides-de-camp of the Sultan and military and
forming a group of ten
political councillors, the idea of
political both Mussulman and Christian, who
persons,
would ask an audience of the Sultan, in order to present
our complaints to him in person and lay before him a
programme of suggested reforms, the general lines of which
we had decided upon. Having obtained an audience of
His Majesty, they would make him understand that they
were determined not to leave the Palace until they had
obtained his consent to the reforms, or would accept exile
in case of his refusal.I was surprised to find that Dervish

Pasha, to whom we had not hitherto attributed sentiments


of this kind, was in the present case all enthusiasm for this.
Osman Pasha, whose patriotism was undoubted, hesitated,
and told us he did not believe such an effort would be suc-
cessful. great friend, Musurus Bey Ghikis, then Coun-
My
cillor of State and later Minister in the Cabinet of Kiamil

Pasha, showed all the activity inspired by a high sense of


patriotism. One day he and I went up the Upper Bos-
phorus to discuss some details of the plan with Sahib
Moulla, one of the most distinguished Ulemas of the coun-
try, who later became Sheik-ul- Islam. Unfortunately, the
whole project was stopped by the faith which this excellent
Ulema attached to a ridiculous prophecy, according to
AN ABSURD PROPHECY 271

which something important was going to happen in the


month of Chabanne (still three months off), in which the
Sultan's birthday fell, and which would render our efforts
unnecessary, so that he insisted we must wait. Musurus
Bey and I were doubly disappointed at this, not only on
account of the fact itself, but on account of the credulity
of a man in whom the country placed great hopes.
CHAPTER XVI
g 1897 1900

My memorial to the Sultan — The —


Cretan Question War with

Greece My Liberal newspaper, and the Sultan's hostility
— —
to it Experiences as Conseiller D'£tat Struggles with the
— —
Sultan Lord Rosebery's visit Unpleasant experiences —

The Turks and the Transvaal War Decision to exile me —

Relations with the throne more and more strained Second

appointment as Governor-General of Tripoli My departure
from Constantinople.

I had to go to Eski-Shehir in connection with the work of

exploitation of a meerschaum mine of which I had been


proprietor since my exile in that place. When I announced
my desire to go, and asked for the Sultan's permission, Izzet

Bey came to tell me, on behalf of His Majesty, that as the


Sultan wanted to have a conversation with me during the
course of the week, it would be impossible for me to leave
the capital. Despite this order I went. On my return
I called at the Palace to report myself and express the

pleasure I had had at seeing this country so completely


transformed, thanks to the railway, which had been the
work His Majesty. The Sultan, who had forgotten, or
of

pretended to have forgotten, that he had refused permission


for me to go, thanked me, and asked me to present a
memorial with regard to the progress I had seen in the
interior of Asia Minor.
In spite of the force of resistance which the Sultan
gathered from the favourable attitude of the St. Petersburg
Cabinet, and the encouragement of some of the intimate
counsellors with whom for some time past he had sur-
272
TURCO-GREEK WAR 273

rounded himself, he wavered before the complaints


finally
made by Great which were confirmed by the events
Britain,
in Europe and Armenia, and were justified by the pressing

representations and appeals made by a number of patriots.


It was about this time that I took it upon myself to submit
to His Majesty a memorandum in the form of a requisitoire.
1

The Sultan, greatly impressed, handed this document to


Tewfik Pasha, who, transferred from fye Embassy at Berlin
to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, seemed to Abd-ul-Hamid
to be the representative and defender of the policy of his
friend the Kaiser. But Tewfik Pasha, who was a man of
enlightened patriotism, instead of disapproving the contents
of my memorandum, recommended my suggestions dis-

creetly but sincerely to His Majesty. Unfortunately, there


came the Cretan affair (immediately after that of Armenia),
which upset the relations between Turkey and Greece. War
broke out between the two countries (in 1897), in spite of
the Sultan's repugnance to extreme measures, and the
reforms that seemed almost certain of being fulfilled were
again postponed, to the grief of all good patriots. One
could almost think this war was tolerated, if not indeed
provoked, by the representatives of the Powers, who thought
by that means to avenge themselves on the Sultan by em-
barrassing him ;
but the success of the Turkish Army was
so prompt and decisive that the Sultan enjoyed a glory he
did not deserve.
The initial operations on the frontier of Thessaly gave
some little cause for anxiety in Turkey. The Generalis-
simo, Marshal Edhem Pasha, a brave and upright soldier,
whose military capacity, however, was not up to the task
he had assumed, found himself at first in great difficulties,
and for three or four days the Palace and military circles
in the capital remained anxiously waiting for news of

military happenings. It was not even known where the


Generalissimo was. The famous defender of Plevna, Ghazi
1
The text of this memorandum is given in an Appendix.
18
274 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
Osman Pasha, who, ever since his return from Russia,
where he had been taken a prisoner of war, had remained
as Marshal of the Court, insisted that the Sultan should
send him to the front as generalissimo. His departure
caused great enthusiasm among the population of the
capital, who gave way to patriotic demonstrations such as
Constantinople had not witnessed before during the reign of
Sultan Hamid.
Thp cheering and delight which accom-
panied the Marshal to his train were of a most enthusiastic
description. The Sultan, who was afraid of all such popular
outbursts, and who was jealous of the popularity of any
of his subjects, whether a military or political man, at once
became alarmed. Luckily for his apprehensions, the news
of the first victory of the Turkish Army and the invasion

day after the Marshal's depar-


of Thessaly arrived the very
ture. Thereupon the Sultan immediately sent orders by
telegraph to Marshal Osman to return at once and resume
his duties at the Palace. Osman, who received these
orders at Salonika, had nothing for it but to obey and re-

turn to the capital.


The campaign of Thessaly and the Epirus was simply a
triumphal march for the Turkish Army, which could have
got to Athens without the least difficulty if the Tsar had
not stopped this by a telegram addressed to the Sultan
himself, couched in flattering but peremptory terms. The
armistice was concluded and negotiations were decided
on for the definite conclusion of peace. Profiting by the
happy occasion for the Sultan, I hastened to congratulate
him, and to point out what an auspicious occasion it would
be for him to take the initiative in the reforms, which
would give more merit to His Majesty by proving that
these reforms arose from his own goodwill without pressure
from outside. At the same time I urged upon the Sultan
that the armistice ought not to end or peace negotiations
be opened until it was understood that the settlement of
the Cretan question should be accepted as the basis of the
BRITAIN AND THE PORTE 275

treaty. But the Sultan, who had now for the second time
become Ghazi (or Victorious), grew more presumptuous
than ever, and the question of Crete, which had been the
cause of and the reason for the war, in spite of all logic and
in defiance of all the interests of the Empire, was not
made the object of the peace negotiations.
The Tsar, partly from political reasons and partly as a
sort ofrecompense to his cousin, Prinze George of Greece,
for the service he had rendered him at the time of the
attack made upon him in Japan, proposed him as candi-
date for High Commissary of Crete. I combated this
political idea of the Tsar's in a series of articles in my
newspaper, Medjra-Efkiar, but the fatality of events was
stronger than logic or the rights of Turkey. In spite of
the Sultan's attitude to Great Britain, which was irritating,
if not actually hostile, Lord Salisbury showed a real con-

sideration for Turkey. When the unfortunate affair of


Candia occurred (in September 1898), and Mohammedans,
fanaticised and egged on no one knows by whom, were
guilty of the abominable political crime of attacking the
detachment of British troops and killing several of them,
the news caused the utmost consternation in Constantinople.
A few days later I went to the Embassy at Therapia to see
Mr. de Bunsen, the Charge d' Affaires, and express my
regret at this grave event. expected to find the Em-
I

bassy extremely upset over the matter, but found they


were not. After lunch Mr. de Bunsen showed me a letter
he had just received from Lord Salisbury and a copy of a
letter sent to the latter by Lord Cromer. Lord Cromer, in
this letter, reported to the Foreign Office the complaints
that Ghazi Hamed Moukhtar Pasha, the Turkish High Com-
missary in Egypt, had made with regard to the policy which
was being manifested by England of abandoning Islamic
and Turkish interests. Lord Salisbury informed the Em-
bassy that British policy with regard to Turkey and Islam
had in no way changed. As regarded the Cretan question,
276 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
the British Cabinet had to examine the Tsar's proposal
with regard to Prince George as a concrete proposition, but
he asked for nothing better than to receive an alternative
practical proposal from the Sovereign of the country, and
added that Her Majesty's Government would examine such
a suggestion with the utmost interest and sympathy.
Mr. de Bunsen asked me to make these views known to
the Sultan. Going the same day to the Palace, I handed in
a short note relating the facts of my conversation to the
Sultan, and begging His Majesty to come to a decision in
accordance with Lord Salisbury's suggestions, which were
in the interest of the Empire. At the same time I pointed
out to the Sultan that the choice of a Greek subject of the
Empire as Commissary of Crete would be no real guarantee
for the maintenance of the Sovereign's interest, as witness
whereof was the case of Vigorides Aleko Pasha, who, al-
though an Ottoman functionary, had not been able to
prevent the annexation of Eastern Roumelia to Bulgaria.
The Sultan's reply surprised and shocked me. He told
me this Cretan question was a sore point for the Tsar, and
that the Powers, not daring to be disagreeable to him,
were trying to make use of him (the Sultan) as the instru-
ment to irritate this sore. And all he did was to write an
autograph letter to the Tsar asking him to agree to the
appointment of an Ottoman Greek as Governor of Crete.
As the Tsar refused this, and the Powers continued their
pressure, the Sultan instructed the Council of Ministers to
evacuate the island of Crete, and gave orders to the com-
mander of the island to take measures accordingly.
The most curious part of the whole affair was the sequel.
I was sent for at the Porte to go to the Palace, where the
First Secretary told me the Sultan wished me to know that
the Ministers, acting without his orders and in defiance of
his expressed wish, had taken the decision of evacuating
the island ;
but that His Majesty, who would show me the
documents, would take such measures against his Minis-
A LIBERAL NEWSPAPER 277

ters as they deserved. Utterly astounded at this comedy,


I told Tassim Pasha that His Majesty evidently desired to

find out how far credulity would go if he thought I was


my
likely to believesuch a fable. No one would ever believe,
I added, that such a thing could take place in the Empire

without express orders from the Sultan, without whose


wishes a simple lieutenant could not move from place to
place. All this humbug was no doufcjt arranged in order
that I should spread the version of the affair invented by
the Monarch in order to exculpate him in the eyes of his
people.
About this time I had the idea of starting a publication
to defend reform in general and the interests of the Empire.
I was supported in this idea by Sir Philip Currie, whose

great desire to render services to the Empire, in spite of the


Sultan's mischievous policy, was equalled by his personal
friendship for myself. I therefore decided to resume the

publication of a periodical review called Medjra-Efkiar


(" The Course of Ideas"), which I had formerly published
at Rustchuk when I was there with Midhat Pasha, chang-
ing it into a political bi-weekly newspaper. As it was im-
possible to publish it at Constantinople, I installed the
press at Philippopolis, and there the paper appeared, being
despatched from thence to the capital. The Sultan, furious
at my action, sent for me, and insisted that I should stop
the publication, asking what I wished as recompense. I
did all I could to make him understand the advantages of
the publication of such an organ, the aim of which was
simply the defence of his Sovereign rights and the rights
of his Empire. As to recompense, I only asked for the
high honour of having His Majesty as my
first subscriber,

with £1 as the price of his subscription.


In spite of the seizures of the paper by the police on
its arrivalat Constantinople, there was no lack of copies in
the capital, and the public bought them up at double and
treble their price. The paper continued to appear for some
278 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
time, but the Sultan never ceased worrying me about it in
one way or another. One evening I was called to the
Palace, and the Governor-General of Konia having died,
was offered this post, the Sultan at the same time making
the formal declaration that he could not permit an ex-
functionary of State to occupy himself with the publication
of a newspaper and abandon the service of the country.
It was plain that I could not continue to live at Constan-

tinople while publishing my newspaper at Philippopolis.


On the other hand, I did not want to accept the position of
Governor of Konia or any of the other posts, the choice
of which was left absolutely to me. I took counsel with
Sir Philip Currie in the matter, and he was of opinion
that it would be best for me to remain at Constantinople,
which meant stopping the paper. In the sequel I accepted
the post of Councillor of State.
The Sultan, who had a great horror of anything recalling
to his mind a Parliament, had prohibited the meetings of
the sections of the Conseil d'Etat in a general assembly,
although, according to the organic law regulating these
councils, general meetings should take place twice a week.
To fill the gap he had created a special group called the
Civil Section, the task ofwhich was to examine and pass
I was
in final revision the decisions of the other sections.

myself appointed to this group, and we formed a sort


of sub-section among the most enlightened members so
as to devote all our efforts to upsetting the arbitrary
conclusions of the Ministers and Governors of provinces.
Thanks to the continual vigilance of this small group,

many abuses were detected and abolished. One day an


official communication reached us from the Minister of the

Interior asking us to take a decision with a view to legalising


the arbitrary exile and deportation of different chiefs of
the country, who were frequently exiled with their families,
and their homes burnt, by order of the Governors, without
the slightest form of trial or sanction of the tribunals. The
THE SULTAN SCARED 279

Minister of the Interior in his report related in the most


cynical manner all the different acts of this kind that had
been carried out by various functionaries and his desire to
systematise them by means of a special regulation. In
other words, his aim was to legitimaiise that which was
utterly illegal, so suppressing the sole vestige that remained
of the famous Tanzimat or Constitution. It was decided
that this proposal should be rejected ,by the Civil Section,
like others of its kind, but the hesitation of some of my

colleagues at the last moment broke up the majority, and


this monstrous proposition was very nearly being accepted
after all. Seeing this, it seemed to me there was but one
way of gaining the desired end in so important a matter,
and that was to create an agitation that would strike the
imagination of the Sultan and force him to take action.
I presented a motion —
demanding that it should be placed
in the proces-verbal of the affair at the meeting of the

Conseil d'Etat in which I pointed out that if this measure
were sanctioned,it would be going in direct opposition to

the formal declarations of the Sultan Abd-ul-Medjid, the


father of Abd-ul-Hamid, in the Tanzimat, wherein he had
called down the curse of God upon any of his successors who
should infringe the law thus set up. The President, in
great alarm, exclaimed that we had nothing to do with
the Sultan and his father, but I insisted that this passage
must be retained in the proces-verbal, since, I repeated, we
owed fidelity to the Sovereign and had no right to render
him responsible before the shade of his august father for
infringing his great monument of the Tanzimat. The
matter was, of course, at once reported to the Sultan, who
immediately called the Ministers, and in great agitation
soundly rated them and charged them with working up a
plot against him and spreading the report that he was
trying to abolish the Tanzimat. Messengers were sent in
the night to fetch the papers relating to the affair, and so
the incident ended.
280 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
In an Albanian town where the Catholics did not possess
a church, the faithful were in the habit of meeting each
Sunday and hearing mass at the house of one of the not-
ables. As the local authorities forbade these religious
services, the Austro-Hungarian Embassy interfered to get
the prohibition raised. There were two points about this
affair which seemed to me as revolting as they were arbitrary.
First of all, how and by what right could the authorities
intervene in a meeting of free men, faithful subjects of the
Sultan, for the carrying out of their religious duties ? If

one is free to meet together for joint pleasure, such as


dancing, surely one should have the same liberty to meet for
devotion in common. The second point that seemed utterly
unreasonable was the intervention of Austria-Hungary.
This Power, relying upon articles in the Treaties of Carlo-
vitch and Passarovitch, pretended she had the right to
exercise a protectorate over the Catholics of Albania. These
two Treaties contained nothing explicit on the matter, but
even if they had contained clauses as categoric as those
of the Treaty of Kainarje (establishing Russian protection
over those of the Orthodox faith in Turkey), they would
have been abrogated after the Treaty of Paris, like others
which accorded rights of protection to Russia, all the more
so as, during the diplomatic negotiations which preceded
the Crimean War, Austria-Hungary was the first to declare
by an official Note that as she and France, which were
Catholic Powers, had no right to protect the Catholic sub-
jects of the Sultan, Russia had no right in the matter either
regarding the Christian Orthodox subjects of Turkey. Un-

fortunately, this abuse Austro-Hungarian protection of the

Catholics had been acknowledged as a sort of rule, and
Kiamil Pasha, during his Grand Vizierate, had recognised
the right by a decision of the Council of Ministers. In face
of the difficulties we should have in upsetting this decision, the
Conseil d'Etat decided to give facilities for the building of
churches and other religious and educational establish-
A DISPUTED DINNER 281

ments for the Catholics, spontaneously according them


firmans for this purpose, so that the Catholic population
should not feel any need for foreign intervention.
During a lunch at which I was present at the British
Embassy, Sir Nicolas O'Conor, the Ambassador, told me
he had received a letter from Lord Rosebery announcing
his arrival at Constantinople, and that he wished me to
make his acquaintance. A few days later I got a note
from the Ambassador inviting me to a small dinner at
which Lord Rosebery, who had now arrived, would be
present. I accepted the invitation, and, on the day fixed,

as I happened to be at the Palace, I injudiciously informed


the Sultan that I was going to dine with the British ex-
Premier, and asked if His Majesty wished me to suggest
anything particular to him. Abd-ul-Hamid sent word
back that he did not wish me to be present at this dinner,
and that I must send my excuses to the Ambassador. It
was impossible for me to submit to such a caprice, for
which there was no reason, and which would make me
ridiculous in the eyes of Lord Rosebery and the Ambas-
sador. Furthermore, if, at the last moment I sent an
excuse, as suggested, it would be known that His Majesty
was responsible for it, and this would create a very bad
impression. But all my arguments to justify my wish to
be present were unavailing to convince the Sultan, who
sent all my friends at the Palace in turn to try and dissuade
me. Seeing that all discussion was useless, and as the hour
of dinner was approaching, I wrote a little note to His

Majesty, which I handed to one of the valets, asking him


to present it to the Sultan a quarter of an hour after I
had left. In this I said I knew that to disobey the orders

of my Imperial master was an act deserving of punishment,


but that in the present case my own dignity and the in-
terests of His Majesty required me not to miss this invita-
tion, and that I should return on the morrow to await his
orders. I accordingly went back the next day to receive
282 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
my punishment, and told His Majesty I had had a conversa-
tion with Lord Rosebery, and that nothing had been said
except what would redound to the interest of the Empire
and the glory of the Sovereign. I heard no more of the
incident. The Sultan, who was usually very courteous
and amiable to distinguished Europeans who came to Con-
stantinople, and who had shown very flattering attentions
to Lord Rosebery's mother when she came to the capital
on a visit some years before, must have been highly offended
at the language Lord Rosebery had used concerning him
when he was Minister for Foreign Affairs, to show such
animosity towards him as he did on this occasion ;
and
Lord Rosebery left the capital without seeing His Majesty.
After the victory in the Turco-Greek war, the three
Powers who had taken an active part in the negotiations for
Armenian reforms thought it necessary to change their
Ambassadors at Constantinople. Through this I lost my
good friend Sir Philip Currie, but on the other hand I had
the satisfaction of getting another friend in M. Zinovieff,
who years before had been my colleague on the European
Commission of the Danube, and now came tc succeed M.
Nelidoff at the Turkish capital. As soon as he arrived he
renewed his former friendly relations with me, and an
intimacy shortly sprang up between us which gave me
great pleasure, and which would have caused much uneasi-
ness to the Sultan if M. Zinovieff had been the representa-
tive of any other but the Tsar. During the whole time I
was at Constantinople I frequently saw Zinovieff, who in
the summer months placed at my disposal a small apart-
ment in his huge summer palace at Buyukdere, where
often I passed several days and nights with him and his
other guests.
On several occasions M. Zinovieff entrusted me with
communications for the Sultan on more or less delicate
questions. One day he showed me an Imperial firman
that had been seized among the effects of the Sheik Faisuli,
AN HONEST DIPLOMAT 283

who, having revolted against Russia and proclaimed a


holy war in his Central Asian province, had been arrested
and executed and his rebellion suppressed. We minutely
examined this firman, which was written in Persian, a
language the Ambassador knew well.. The form and the
tourah (or signature) of the Sultan seemed to me authentic,
but the style was not that of the Imperial Divan. When I
reported the matter to the Sultan, he protested that the
document was a forgery, and regretted that he had not
been advised of this insurrection at the outset, as he would
have exercised all his influence as Caliph against it.
I have preserved the most pleasant memories of this
Russian diplomat, who was animated by sentiments of
justice that are rare among diplomats, especially those of
Russia.
The Greek Patriarch of Antioch, of whose enthronement
I spoke in another chapter, had committed a highly scan-
dalous act both from the point of view of the interest of
the Church and of that of the State. He had abandoned
sum the administration of the Orthodox
for a nice little
churches and schools of Syria to the Russian Society of
Palestine. We had the copy of the transaction between
the prelate and the society before us at the Conseil d'Etat.
When M. Zinovieff of the matter, he was highly in-
I told

dignant, and promised me at once to obtain information


and take the necessary measures. But the affair was never
settled, as the Sultan did not want to offend the Russian
Court and the Ambassador could not fight against the dis-
tinguished influences that were mixed up in it. All that
took place was that the Patriarch was revoked.
One of the agents of terrorism of whom the Sultan some-
times madeuse was Ghani Bey, of Tirana, brother of
Essad Pasha, to whose influence this latter owed his suc-
cessful career, which he began in the gendarmerie. This
Ghani Bey had many crimes to his account during an
adventurous life in his native country, and later at Con-
284 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
stantinople, including several mysterious assassinations.
Among these was the murder of a young Greek demi-mon-
daine, who, supposed to be the favourite of the Sultan's heir,
Mahmoud, was suspected of acting as intermediary between
him and certain foreigners she was foully done to death
;

one day in her own home with her servant and her dog.
A similar fate befel a young Italian girl, whose father was

employed at the Palace, and who was suspected of acting


as intermediary under similar circumstances. In spite of
his life of crime, Ghani Bey was everywhere a favourite. His
appearance belied his character, and nobody would have
suspected him capable of such acts. As his family of
Toptani had for long been related by marriage to mine, and
as his sister was the mother of my nephew, he was always
very respectful and affable to me. For some time, however,
I had noticed a change in his manner towards me which
I was at a loss to explain, for every time I met him at the
Palace he tried to avoid me. One day my friend Ilias Bey
and the Prefect of the city, Ridvan Pasha, took me aside,
and in the greatest secrecy told me that Ghani Bey had
informed them of an interview that had taken place be-
tween himself and the Sultan concerning me. According
to this statement the Sultan had called Ghani Bey into his
own private room and told him he wanted to get rid of
certain people who were in his way. The first of these
people whom it was desirable to do away with was myself ;

but Ghani Bey was only required at the moment to take


preliminary measures, while awaiting the Sultan's orders
for the accomplishment of the fact. Ghani Bey assured
my friends that he would never carry out this wish of the
Sultan, and that if he persisted and gave him definite
orders, he would either flee the country or blow out his own
brains. Having given me this information, my two friends
advised me to be on my guard. Although certainly I had
cause for anxiety, I thought the best thing for me to do was
to keep quiet about the matter and ask these two to advise
TRANSVAAL WAR 285
Ghani Bey not to talk about it. I said His Majesty might
have talked in this manner to Ghani Bey in a moment of
nervous excitement, but that I did not believe he would
ever carry out such an intention, and that the real danger
for either Ghani or myself would be if the Sultan learned
that he had let his tongue wag. I heard no more of this

matter until, being one evening some time later at Pera, I


stopped outside a dressmaker's shop where I had some
business, and on my stepping from my damage, the Governor
of Pera came behind me, and, touching me on the shoulder,
informed me that Ghani Bey had just committed suicide.
I was horrified at this news, remembering the incident I

have just related. The Governor suggested my going with


him to the milk-shop, where he told me the body was
lying, but I had neither the nerve nor the desire to go and
see the body. I went straight home, and passed a very

agitated night. The next day, however, my emotion was


somewhat calmed when I learned the real nature of
Ghani' s death. He had simply paid back the blood he
had taken. He had lately been very friendly with a certain
Hafiz Pasha, a former chief of gendarmerie. For some
time they had been inseparable, and, on the day in question,
in the midst of what seemed to be mere tomfoolery, the
two men laughingly said they would kill each other. " I'll
show you how it is done," said Hafiz, levelling his revolver
at the other's head. The shot was fired, and Ghani Bey fell
dead. In simulated fright at the supposed accident, Hafiz
" A "
cried out, doctor !a doctor ! and rushed from the
place. He was
never seen or heard of again.
The Transvaal War and the losses which the British
armies were suffering in the early part of the operations
had become a matter of the most palpitating interest for
the population of the country, as the great majority of the
Turkish people felt a sincere sympathy for the English,
despite the unconcealed jubilation of the Sultan, and of
those who followed his policy, especially the army officers
286 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
who had made their studies in Germany. Many good
patriots came to discuss the matter with me and express
their regrets, and the result of it all was that we decided
to organise a demonstration at the Embassy in order to
express to the British people the gratitude of the Turks
for ail that England had done for them during more than
a century in defending the country against all dangers, both
with her armies and with the power of her politics.
Ten persons belonging to various intellectual classes
constituted themselves into a deputation and called upon
Sir Nicolas O' Conor, the Ambassador at the time, and
handed him an address of sympathy. When the Sultan
learned of this, he became furious, and started proceedings

against those who had taken part in the deputation. Those


who came in for the chief brunt of the persecution were
my eldest son, Mahmoud, who was maitre de requites at the
Conseil d'Etat Siret Bey, a young litterateur, who was
;

related to some of the noblest families of Constantinople ;

Hamdi Effendi Zahravy, of Syria, an ulema, who was in


later years my colleague at the Chamber of Deputies, and
who quite recently, while he was a Senator, was executed
by Djemal Pasha, with many other notables of Syria and ;

Ubedullah Effendi, also an ulema, later a deputy and one


of the most ardent propagandists of the Young Turk party.
While they were being subjected to endless interrogations
at the Palace, I was also asked to go to Yildiz, where the
Chamberlain, Faik Bey, questioned me in order to make
me avow my co-operation in the matter. I did not hesi-
tate to tell the truth, nor to let the Sultan know that my
friends and 1, as well as those who went to the Embassy
in the name of their compatriots, thought it was our patriotic

duty publicly to show the sympathy which all Turks felt


with Great Britain, the friend of Turkey and of the Otto-
man dynasty, in the hour of her difficulty. r
W
e had thought
that the Sultan, as our chief and the Sovereign of the
country which owed so much to England, would have been
RELATIONS WITH THE SULTAN 287

the first to approve this act. But if the Sultan considered


ita crime, then I was not only the accomplice in such crime,
but actually the instigator, and as such was ready to accept
the consequences. When all this had been told to the
Sultan, Faik Bey came back to inform me that His Majesty
was about to send me to an unknown destination, and
that the boat that was to take me was actually ready to
leave. He was in the act of saying this when one of His
Majesty's servants came in great haste to fetch Faik Bey.
He returned a few minutes later, and bringing me the
Sultan's greetings, expressed in a courteous and cordial
manner, and the assurance that he had not the least doubt
as tomy loyalty to him, added His Majesty's request that
I should in future do nothing with the Ambassadors
without first of all consulting him. Though naturally
satisfied to have escaped the tempest that was threatening
me, 1 was also anxious to secure the liberation of the
others inculpated, but in this I was not successful. As
a mere matter of delicacy I could not ask the Ambassador
to intervene energetically in favour of the victims ; but, as
I had suggested to Sir Nicolas, it seemed to me he had but

to go to the Palace and express his thanks to His Majesty


direct for this spontaneous act of his subjects for the Sultan
to be at once disarmed and cease the persecution. The
Ambassador took no action, however, and the whole four
were exiled to distant parts of Asia Minor.
After this event, relations between the Sultan and myself
became more and more strained, and I found that my
movements were the object of much attention on the part
of the secret police. Some few days later, while I was on
a visit at the Embassy, Lady 0' Conor asked me to stay
to luncheon, and as I remained chatting for some time
afterwards and did not leave the Embassy, the Sultan was
informed of the matter. In great concern and anger he
sent an aide-de-camp to fetch me to the Palace. I left,

however, before he arrived, and, as I did so, met my friend,


288 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
Ilias Bey, Master of the Wardrobe, who told me he was

looking for one of my sons in order to send him to advise


me to take precautions, as the Sultan was going to have
me arrested. A little further on I met the aide-de-camp
coming to fetch meirom the Embassy. He left his carriage
and came into mine, and together we went to the Palace.
But the Sultan seemed to have got over his bad temper,
for, in spite of the alarming reports I had heard, he was
satisfied to ask me a few commonplace questions, and left
me to go home.
Some little time however, the Minister of Police
later,
and the Governor on instructions from the
of Pera, acting
Palace, each submitted a report to the Sovereign which
alleged that the public, seduced by my writings and speeches,
were in a state of great excitement, and that my presence
at Constantinople had become a menace to public order.
The Council of Ministers was called in hot haste to the
Palace, and the Ministers were presented with the reports
in question by Izzet Bey, who asked them to come to a
decision with regard to my removal from the capital.
Most of the Ministers opposed the demand, contending that
a State functionary could not be punished without trial and
judgment. Izzet Bey persisted. He said the Sultan re-

gretted this want of agreement between him and his


Ministers that as the Sovereign he was free to exile whom-
;

soever he wished without needing any decision from his


Ministers, but that in order to have the proof of harmony
between him and his Ministers, he desired them to take
this resolution. He promised, however, that he would not
carry it out. Upon this the Ministers came to the conclu-
sion that they had better yield to the Sultan's wishes, and
" "
the decision was signed and handed over to Izzet Bey
to be submitted to His Majesty. Several of the Ministers
at the same time gave me warning of what had taken

place. My situation had thus become an impossible one.


" "
I was supposed to ignore the facts, but this sentence of
A SWORD OF DAMOCLES 289

the Ministerial Council continued to hang over me like a


sword of Damocles and took from me all spirit and desire
to work.
One day the Sultan, excited by some cause of which I
knew nothing, sent an aide-de-camp to fetch me immedi-
ately to the Palace. The same Izzel Bey received
me
and went at once to announce my arrival to the Sultan.

Returning to me, he was accompanied by the other Cham-


berlain, Faik Bey, whom he preceded, and, coming close
"
up to me, remarked in a tragic manner, Take care, I

beg of you take care it is a very serious matter." Then
;

the two Chamberlains informed me that His Majesty, who


had been much impressed by my conduct, which he found
exactly similar to that of Midhat Pasha during the latter
part of the reign of his uncle, the late Abd-ul-Aziz, asked
me for clearand categorical explanations. Without losing
my sangfroid, I told them I protested strongly against these

suspicions, which had not the least foundation in fact. In


the first place, His Majesty knew very well that I had been
opposed in principle to the deposition of his uncle, who had
been for me nothing but the Sovereign whereas with
;

regard to his present Majesty, who had covered me with


favours and kindness, I not only owed him the fidelity of
a subject, but actual gratitude. On the other hand, I could
not hide from him that I was dissatisfied with the con-
dition of affairs in the Empire, and His Majesty knew that
in order to get the evils redressed, I had gone to him direct
simply for his own good and that of the Empire.
The two Chamberlains conveyed reply back to His
my
Majesty, and presently returned again, this time looking more
reassured. They said the Sultan had received my assurances
with great pleasure, and wished to know what exactly was
in my mind when I stated that the laws were not being ob-
served furthermore, what I would say when I heard
;

Edhem Bey, who had been the First Chamberlain of his


brother, the Sultan Murad, and with whom the Sultan
19
2go ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
would confront me, say that Midhat Pasha was not at all
a partisan of the Constitution, and that he had refused to
allow Murad to promulgate it, declaring that it had only
been a pretext used to dethrone Abd-ul-Aziz. These ques-
tions struck me as strangely fantastical. I replied that by

the laws I meant all that were contained in the Statute


Book, which had been in a large measure promulgated by
His Majesty, but of which not a single one was respected or
carried out at that time. With regard to the Constitution,
which in my opinion was the crown to His Majesty's legis-
lative work, I did not urge its being put into operation
because Midhat Pasha had done so, but simply because
it was my own conviction, and any testimony by Edhem
Bey of the nature indicated would not change my convic-
tion a particle.
They went to the Sultan again with these declarations of
mine, and when they came back brought with them a red
satin bag containing several hundred Turkish pounds. They
told me the Sultan was very satisfied with my protestation
of fidelity to his throne and person, and he begged me in
future to come to the Palace every two days to see the
various officials and to keep in continual touch with His
Majesty. In view of the serious nature of the situation, I
was forced to accept the Sovereign's gift and to leave the
Palace with a more or less satisfied air. In conformity
with His Majesty's wishes I continued to call at the Palace
every week, and went to see Hadji-Ali Bey, who announced
my arrival to His Majesty. He found some commonplace
question to ask me each time.
On the second day of the fete of Bairam I was awakened
atdawn to learn that a messenger from the Palace had
come to ask me to go there immediately. The messenger
added that this time should find the object of the invita-
I

tion to my entire satisfaction, and therefore 1 had no cause


for concern. As I was never without anxiety at this time,
this extremely matutinal invitation caused me some appre-
THE TRIPOLITAIN 291

hension, which was emphasised rather than allayed by the


messenger's assurances. 1 went to the Palace at once.
When Izzet Bey saw me, he immediately asked if the mes-
senger had given me satisfactory assurances. After an-
nouncing my arrival to the Sultan, he returned and said
that His Majesty had not been able to sleep all night on
account of the worry caused him by the situation of the
Tripolitain. The French had encroached so much on the
territory of this province the Italians always nurtured
;

envious designs, and the population of the country, entirely


Mussulman, would end by losing confidence in their Sove-
reign and Caliph if something were not done. All the
Governors who had ruled over this distant province had
unfortunately thought of little except taking care of their
own personal interests without heeding those of the Empire.
To bring order into this state of affairs His Majesty had
thought of me, and if I would accept this post I should be

rendering appreciable services to the Empire, which His


Majesty would not be slow to recognise. Although my
firstimpression was that the Sultan was seeking to carry
out the famous decision of the Council of Ministers to get
me away from the capital, I nevertheless at once accepted
this offer. I asked Izzet Bey to tell His Majesty that I

shared entirely his concern with regard to the situation of


this province, but that it was not the only one whose fate
was deplorable. The provinces of Turkey in Europe were
already in revolt, everything was in disorder in Asiatic
Turkey, and even the capital was not free from danger.
The Tripolitain was perhaps the country least in need of
the Sultan's care. Nevertheless, if His Majesty thought
that my small capacity would be of use in improving the
lot of thiscountry and removing His Majesty's anxiety, I
should be happy thus to serve him and the Empire. Izzet
Bey took my message, and returned bringing me His
Majesty's thanks, and made me write and sign a couple
of lines by which I undertook this task and promised con-
2Q2 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
tinued fidelity to His Majesty. As it was a question of
giving me very extended powers, the Sultan recalled the
instructions which had been given me on the occasion of
my first nomination to this same post, and I was ordered

to send for these instructions so as to have them completed


and extended. My appointment having been officially
announced, I began the formation of a new staff that
was to accompany me for the civil and military service of
the province. At the same time I tried to get at the secret
of the motive for my appointment. The essential point
for me to know was whether the Sultan's object was simply
to get rid of me by exiling me to this distant part of the

Empire, where I should have to suffer all sorts of annoyances


and humiliations, if not worse, or whether he really in-
tended that my services were to be employed for the good
of the State. If this latter supposition turned out to be

the true one, though the Sultan would have the satisfaction
of no longer having to support my presence in Constant-

inople, I should not be dissatisfied at having accepted the


post. But as time went on I had more than one indica-

tion that the object of my appointment was neither to give


me any real satisfaction nor was it any sincere desire for
the reorganisation of the country.
These doubts, added to all I had experienced and suffered
latterly, convinced me that my best course was to finish
with it all once and for all and go and live abroad, where
I could in the first place enjoy some measure of personal
liberty, and secondly, I could follow the course of events
in order to do something useful for my native country of
Albania.
In a personal and confidential letter which I sent through
Sir Adam Block, I explained to Sir Nicolas O' Conor the
resolution I had come to, and asked him to confirm instruc-
tions which had been given in the time of Sir Philip Currie
to the commander of the British stationary vessel to give
me hospitality in case I wanted to take refuge on board,
VOLUNTARY EXILE 293

since it would be impossible for me to leave the capital in


the ordinary way.
In the meanwhile the Sultan did all he could to impress
me by the favours he showered on me. The salary of my
new post was doubled, a present was to» be given me for the
expenses of the journey, and I was made to understand that
further gifts in money and decorations would be given me
before I left. But all these favours, which at any time
would have left me indifferent, now fost any value they
might have had by the pressure exercised upon me to hurry
my departure. Finally, one Friday morning I was asked
to go to the Palace, and Izzet Bey told me that His Majesty
was anxious that I should leave as quickly as possible, that
he wanted to receive me that same Friday after the cere-
mony of the Selamlik to take leave of him, and that I was
to go directly from the Palace to embark on board the

Imperial yacht, Fuart (which was to take me, and which


had been refurnished specially for me, although I had
said I would prefer to sail on an ordinary steamer of the

postal service). He added that if my personal affairs


required my remaining still one or two days, I could never-
theless live on the yacht. This extraordinary haste to see
the last of me, and particularly the hidden intimidation
of Izzet Bey's manner, decided me to leave for Europe at
once. I promised the Chamberlain that I would return
the next morning (Saturday) to see His Majesty, and would
embark on board the yacht as soon as the audience was
over, in accordance with the Imperial desire. From the
Palace I went immediately to the British Embassy, and
orders were given at once for the captain of the stationnaire
to receive me.
The next morning I sent a servant with a card for Izzet
Bey, telling him that after a short visit to Galata I would
go to the Palace. I then took a small embarkation boat
with my three sons, instructing the boatmen that before
going to Galata we were to be taken to the foreign station-
2Q4 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
naires, beginning with the British one, in order to leave my
cards. dismissed the boat and remained.
Once on board, I

At the Palace they waited for me, and there was some
consternation when I did not appear. When the Sultan
was informed two days later by the British Embassy that
I had taken refuge on board their boat with the intention
of leaving for abroad, he was extremely annoyed, and de-
clared that he could not understand the reason for my
action. He asked \he Embassy to persuade me to leave
the vessel so as to depart from the capital afterwards in
the ordinary way, if I wished to do so, when I might take
with me all I but that if I decided to remain,
should need ;

I might keep the post that had been given to me or any


other post that I might desire. The Councillor of the
Embassy, Sir Adam Block, came to tell me of this desire of
the Sultan and give me
guarantees for my liberty. Though
pleased at this result, I thanked the representative of the
Embassy, and handed him my resignation of the Governor-
ship of Tripoli, with the request that he would
hand it to
His Majesty, and persisted in my intention to leave.
old friend, Ridvan Pasha, Mayor of the city, came
My
to try and make me disembark, and was very
much
upset in face of my obstinacy. At our interview in the

cabin a young English midshipman, named Baber, excus-


ing himself to the Pasha, insisted upon being present, and
sat in an arm-chair between us, according, as he said, to the
instructions he had received. Ridvan did not leave until
after midnight, announcing that he would return the next
day. He
did return, and restarted his attempts at per-
suasion, telling me that he would be in danger of being
persecuted himself if I did not yield to his entreaties.
His
insistence, indeed, became annoying, and, assuring him of

friendly feelings for himself, I was compelled


to tell
my
him at the same time that I could not think of sacrificing

my honour to my friendship for him, and that I was


if he wished, to throw myself into the Bosphorus to
ready,
STAY AT ATHENS 295

show my friendship for him, but would never again lay


myself open to be subjected to the Sultan's caprices.
1 then sent for the luggage which, to safeguard appear-

ances, I had had conveyed to the Imperial yacht. The


next day the captain of the port and one of the officers
of the English man-of-war escorted us on board a Khedivial
boat (flying the British flag), where I was visited by a
large number of friends. News of my departure having
spread round Constantinople, the quays were thronged by
a vast concourse of the population, who had come to see
me off and showed great sympathy with me. I sailed
from the Bosphorus on May 1st, 1900.
The vessel called at Mitylene and Smyrna, where officials
from the British Consulate came on board to make the usual
visits. On our arrival at the Piraeus I was received by
Colonel Sutcho, sent by the Hellenic Government to re-
ceive me and take me to the Hotel de la Grande Bretagne,
where I lived during my entire stay at Athens. On the
day of my arrival, I exchanged visits with the President of
the Council, M. Theotokis, and on the third day I was re-
ceived in audience by the late King George I, who showed

me great affability and kindness a kindness with which
he honoured me for the rest of his life. The welcome
which I received everywhere in this capital that I had
loved and admired ever since my childhood touched me so
deeply that it seemed to me as if I was in my own country
and was going through a series of fetes. Affinity of race
and similarity of habits, up to a certain point, as well as
the roles the two peoples had played in ancient and modern
times, engendered a certain mutual sympathy between the
Albanians and the Greeks. But now, especially since the
Greeks were suffering from their recent tribulations, while
the Slav danger constituted a real menace for them, they
looked upon the Albanians as possible assistants and as a
potent factor in co-operation for the restoration of the two
countries. My stay in the Greek capital brought to the
296 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
surface all the old sympathies, and the political men of
Albanian origin, as if answering the call of old associations,

spoiled me with kindly tokens of friendship. They seemed


to be puzzled to decide whether my compatriots and I
ought to co-operate with them for the benefit of Greece,
or whether they would bring the men of their second
motherland along with them in a movement to help to-
wards the restoration of the country of their origin. I
was proud and pleased to note that the feeling of nationality
was so deeply and strongly rooted with the Albanians, in
spite of the centuries of change in political and social
conditions. I found great pleasure in strolling about in

the mornings during my stay under this beautiful Attic


sky listening tomy maternal tongue spoken by the Albanians
in the streets and the market, but what gave me the most
pleasing sensation of all was what was said by the King's
aide-de-camp, who was descended from one of the heroic
families of Albania, as we passed from the ante-room into
the King's presence on the occasion of my second visit.
" "
Bey," he exclaimed, don't let yourself be led away by
these hot-heads do your best to make a free Albania for
;

us so that we can all reunite there."


Although political events have since then imparted an-
other direction to the sentiments of these two peoples, I
feel sure that sooner or later the common love of liberty
shared by the Albanians and the Greeks will lead them to
an entente and the setting up of a counterpoise in the
Balkan peninsula for the good of all. I drew up a number
of proclamations at Athens, which I addressed to all the
chief centres in Albania, explaining to my compatriots
first of all the reasons which had forced me to leave my
post and my service with the Empire to which we were all
attached, and whose maintenance and glory we all wished
to see continued. Then I sketched the political programme
that we ought to follow in order to preserve Albania from
a national catastrophe.
THE SULTAN'S CYNICISM 297

A few days after my arrival at Athens I was visited by


my friend, Ilias Bey, whom His Majesty had sent to me to
try and persuade me to return to Constantinople, giving
me all possible guarantees for the future. At the same
time, Kiamil Pasha, the ex-Grand Vizier, who was now
Governor-General of Smyrna, wrote me a very kind letter,
which he sent by the President of the Municipality of
Smyrna, Echreff Pasha, and in which he personally went
guarantee for the future consideration of the Sultan, and
advised me to accept the post of Governor-General of
Beyrouth, in preference to any Ministerial post that
might be offered me, as that would at least enable me to
lead a life agreeable to myself.

All these guarantees offered me by political personages


and by personal friends seemed to me to be utterly useless.
I ended, however, by being convinced that the Sultan was
keenly desirous of keeping me and having me in his service.
It was neither doubt nor suspicion that made me persist
in my decision. The experiences I had gone through dur-
ing the past few years, and the confessions the Sultan had
on several occasions made to me, had convinced me that
one could have obtained anything one wished from this
Sovereign in the way of personal advancement and benefit,
but absolutely nothing for the good of the country. I
might have reached supreme power in the Empire, but,
as the Sultan did not acknowledge the existence together
fidelity, the more I had risen
of honesty and in rank, the
less power should have had to fulfil my duty and do
I

good. I never forget how the Sultan told me one day that
I was wrong to imagine that any good could ever be achieved
with his Ministers. The old time, he said, had passed when
all inthe Empire were devoted to the Sovereign and all
the honours of success were attributed to him, the Ministers
only claiming responsibility for failures or mistakes.
Nowadays, he said, it was only by permitting corruption
that he was able to keep a hold on his Ministers,
298 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
My conviction of the impossibility of ever doing any
good work being thus fixed, my resolution to continue on
the path I had taken was also unshakeable. I gave Ilias

Bey a letter for the Sultan, and sent a reply to Kiamil


Pasha. On his leaving me, Ilias Bey had acknowledged
the justice of my views, but a little while after his return to
Constantinople I received a letter from him in which,
pledging our ancient friendship for the truth of his asser-
tions, he told me that the Sultan had been touched to
tears by the letter I had sent him and by his own explana-
tions, and he was so convinced that the Sovereign was now
sincere that he implored me to return.
It had, of course, been a hard and painful thing for my
sons and myself thus to exile ourselves voluntarily without
being able to see any issue to this new situation, but the

sympathies showered on me on and by all kinds of


all sides

people, foreign as well as Greek, went a good way towards


consoling us. A vessel full of tourists from Australia had
been at Constantinople at the time of my departure, and,
having learned what had taken place, these good people,
when they arrived at Athens, insisted upon my receiving
them. Our interview was very cordial, and my new friends
in their kindly enthusiasm invited me to go out to Aus-
tralia.
After a stay of six weeks I left Athens in company with
Musurus Ghikis Bey, who had joined me there, having also
given up his post of Conseiller d'Etat and left the country.
Among others whose acquaintance I made at Athens were
Sir E. H. Egerton, then British Minister, Mr. Boucher, the

correspondent of the Times, and Sir Arthur Evans, the dis-


tinguished excavator of Knossos, with whom I made the

journey to Foggia, whence I went on to Naples.


CHAPTER XVII
1900-08
1

Journey through Europe— Attacks on my life— More offers from


the Sultan— Albanian intrigues — My organ at Brussels—
Young Turk Conference at Paris — Projects for remedying
Turkish affairs — Support from Great Britain — Abortive plans
— The Albanians of Sicily— Reformers' lack of cohesion— •

The Constitution proclaimed at last— Electoral campaign—


Young Turks in power— Return to Constantinople.

I already knew Naples pretty well, but, as I wanted to


show my sons the beauties of this town and neighbour-
hood and the antiquities of Pompeii, we stayed there a
few days and visited the ruins of the Roman city several
times. On the last occasion we had an opportunity of
witnessing the magnificent spectacle of the British Fleet
anchored before Castellamare. From Naples we went on
to Rome, where I had the pleasure of finding Sir Philip
(now Lord) Currie, who had been transferred thither from
Constantinople. The Ambassador and Lady Currie re-
ceived me with their usual kindness and charm, and, thanks
to them, I made several interesting acquaintances, among
others that of Mr. Wickham Steed, correspondent of the
Times, with whom my friendship has continued ever since.
It was Mr. Steed who presented me to Sig. Sydney Sonnino,
the distinguished Italian Statesman, who showed much
interest in Eastern affairs generally, and particularly in the
Albanian question. At the head of the Consulta at this
time was the famous old diplomat Visconti-Venosta, who
was also greatly interested in me personally and in the
cause.
299
300 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
The Sultan, who was uneasy at my journey through
Europe, and was trying to make it difficult for me, in-
structed his Ambassador at Rome to do his utmost to
make me leave. Visconti-Venosta's observations in reply
to the Ambassador's efforts in this direction were very flat-
tering to me. The Prince of Naples

the present King —
being then at Constantinople on his return from his travels
in the East, the Sultan took advantage to speak to the
heir to the throne ahout me, and, in order to give more

weight to his insinuations, he granted all the requests that


were made of him by the Italian Government, among other
things for a plot of land for the Embassy at Pera.
I made the acquaintance of many political men at Rome,
but what gave me the most pleasure was the interview I
had with the veteran Crispi, who spoke to me with great
pride of his Albanian origin. Through a lucky chance I
was staying at the Hotel de l'Europe, where the eminent
statesman was living with his family. Crispi was worn and
tired, and had to make a considerable effort in order to re-
ceive me and to tell me many fine and interesting things
about country and its destiny, which he was convinced
my
would soon be brilliant. He spoke Albanian, and told me
that when he was younger he spoke it much better. His
works on the Albanian tongue, I may add, are very valu-
able.
After three weeks' stay in the Italian capital we left for
Switzerland. My intention had been to establish my
children at Lausanne for their schooling, and, after visiting
different parts of Switzerland, we arrived at this latter
town. But had received from my friends at Con-
letters I

stantinople had somewhat upset me. They told me that


the Sultan, after my departure from Athens, had sent agents
all over Albania to carry on a propaganda against me and
obtain disapproval of my acts from my compatriots. In
most of the Albanian centres they refused to conform to the
desires of the Monarch's envoys. Essad Pasha, however,
FOUNDING AN ORGAN 301

as chief of the gendarmerie, went to my native town and


threatened my compatriots if he did not get a written
statement from them. These letters also brought me the
graver information that men had been sent to Europe for
the purpose of making an attack on my life. My friends
even sent me the description and origin of these sinister
individuals.
One day, on our return from a visit to Geneva, two men
of suspicious appearance and movements hustled me at
Ouchy and got into the same compartment in the funicular
railway. As there were only ladies in the compartment
besides myself and my sons, I thought it imprudent to
continue my journey in company with these two fellows,
and so at the first station we stopped at we left the com-
partment ;the two men immediately did the same. On
our return to the hotel I reported this little adventure,
which seemed to corroborate the advices I had received
from Constantinople, by a note to the police, and the next
day I left for Paris and London, giving up the idea of in-
stalling my sons at Lausanne. The Swiss police were very
attentive to me, and I was accompanied by an officer and
severalmen until the departure of the train for France. We
arrived in the French capital the same evening, which was
the eve of July 14th, and my sons were much impressed
by the sight of the crowds amusing themselves and danc-
ing in the streets. We spent several weeks in Paris, and I
thought I would settle my boys there and then go on to
London.
One
of my desires, however, was to have an organ
in which to defend the cause of Albania, and with this
end in view I wrote to my compatriot Faik Bey Konitza,
who had for several years published a newspaper called
Albania at Brussels, to get an interview with him, and see
if it was possible to have his
paper as my organ. He sug-
gested that I should make my journey to London via
Brussels and Ostend, so that I could meet him. I did this,
302 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
and Brussels so charmed me with its beauty, especially that
of the Avenue Louise quarter, that I determined at once
to choose the Belgian capital as my
future place of resi-
dence. I took a house in the Avenue Louise, and, after

sending for my sons from Paris, went on to London.


In London I found that Lord Salisbury was away in the
country, but I was received by his private secretary, who
had received instructions to place himself at my disposal.
At the same time this gentleman hinted that the relations
between the British Government and the Sultan had latterly
much improved —a fact which, as I assured him, could
only afford me satisfaction.

During my stay in London my second son, Tahir, who


was a naval officer and aide-de-camp of the Sultan, came
to me on a confidential mission from the Monarch, to per-
suade me to return to Constantinople. The Sultan had
said he must do his utmost to induce me to return, but
should I still refuse, and he (Tahir) be also tempted not
" "
to return, he must leave that matter to his milk (in the
Turkish phrase, meaning to his own inclinations) As a .

matter of fact, when I gave my son the same answer that


I had given to other emissaries of Abd-ul-Hamid, and en-
trusted him with a letter for the Sovereign, Tahir expressed
a desire not to return. Here, however, I insisted, con-
sidering it son's duty in honour bound to return when
my
he had accomplished this confidential mission, and I had
to threaten him that if he did not do so I should be forced
to return myself in his place.
I went back to Brussels, where I settleddown for a time,
and, having concluded an arrangement with the proprietor
of Albania, began the management of this paper, and at
the same time prepared a short work on the Transvaal War,
the object of which was to explain the reasons for my
leaving Constantinople, and to set forth the feeling of the
Mussulman world with regard to the civilising work of
Great Britain. This pamphlet, written in Turkish, was
OFFER FROM THE SULTAN 303

translated and published in English, French, and Arabic


1

(the Turkish and Arabic versions being printed at Cairo).


My relations with Faik Bey did not last long. He left
Brussels shortly afterwards, and I had to start another
paper, which I called Le Salut de I'Alhanie, and which was
printed in Albanian, Turkish, and Greek. It was a rather

complicated matter. The Turkish version was printed at


Folkestone, where a special press for the composition of that
language had been set up the Albanian part was printed
;

at Brussels,and the Greek was sent to Athens to be set up.


It was soon after my return to Brussels from London that
the Turkish Ambassador at Paris instructed the Turkish
consul at Brussels to say that he wished to come and see
me in order to give me some messages from the Sultan, and
asking me to make an appointment. When Munir Pasha
came to Brussels, he told me he had been instructed by the
Sultan to offer me a new post. As His Majesty was now
convinced that I would no longer accept a post in the
Empire, rather than that I should remain a fugitive he
offered me
a post as extra Ambassador for all countries, with
the mission of studying the different institutions of Europe
and making reports on them so that they might serve as
bases for reforms in Turkey. I, of course, declined this

curious offer, replying that His Majesty knew perfectly


well why I had refused further service in the Empire, and
that for the same reasons I could not accept the proffered
task and continue to live on Turkish money as recompense
for purely imaginary services ; but that at the same time
His Majesty could continue to count on fidelity and my my
good wishes for the happiness of the Empire.
As the death of Queen Victoria happened about this time,
I went to London to take part in the funeral. Among the
Royal visitors in London for the occasion was the King of
Greece, who was the guest of his brother-in-law and sister, the
1
See the Fortnightly Review for January, 1901, in which the text of
this pamphlet is published.
304 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
King and Queen. King George, who ever since I had had
the honour of knowing him had continued to extend a very
special sympathy to me, now also remembered the pro-
mises he had made me, and invited me to Marlborough
House, where he was staying, and, receiving me with that
particular charm and bonhomie that were native to him,
he told me of the recommendations he had impressed upon
hisRoyal relatives concerning Albania.
There had always been a rather large colony of Albanians,
both Mussulmans and Christians, in Egypt, and the com-
mittee of this colony now notified me of the pleasure they
would experience at receiving me in Egypt. As I had
always had a desire to visit this country, their flattering
invitation decided me to undertake the journey. On arriv-

ing at Cairo, I was received audience by the Khedive,


in
and I exchanged visits with Lord Cromer (who was kind
enough to promise me special consideration for this Albanian
committee) and with the High Commissary for Turkey,
Ghazi Moukhtar Pasha. It was while I was enjoying this
hospitality of my compatriots and of political circles in
'

Cairo that intrigues began concerning Albania, and the


most curious of all was the act of Mehmet Ali Pasha,
brother of the Khedive. In spite of the fact that I did
not know him personally, he informed the Sultan by tele-
gram that I had offered him the throne of Albania, which
he said he had refused as being contrary to his feelings of
fidelity to the Caliph. This denunciation, which brought
him as recompense the grade and title of Vizier, must have
worked upon his conscience, since, on the occasion of my
second visit to Egypt, he came to me on his own initiative
to explain and justify his act, which he claimed arose
from excess of zeal. On my return to Rome the Ambas-
sador came to see me, and showed me a telegram from the
Sultan in which His Majesty instructed his representative
to reproach me with the fact that I had promised when I
went away — especially to his envoy, Ilias Bey
— not to have
GREEK SYMPATHY 305

anything to do with politics, and that, in spite of this, I


had visited Egypt, I had let it be known that I was trying
to make a principality of Albania, and I had offered
the throne to the Khedive's brother. He added that if I
did not disavow these things, he would have me condemned
before the tribunals. My reply was that the Sultan was
mistaken in saying I had promised to have nothing more
to do with politics. What I had promised was not to
make attacks upon His Majesty personally a promise —
which I had kept and intended to keep. As to Albania, I
could not offer the throne of a country which did not exist,
and, even if I could have done so, I had no reasons, but
rather the contrary, for giving the preference to an Egyp-
tian Prince. In spite of my denials, the Sultan had me
tried for high treason in the courts of Constantinople, with
the result that I was condemned to death in default, with
the loss of my civil rights, rank, dignities, decorations, and
property.
The campaign on which I had engaged in my organ at
Brussels, besides its general character, had also a special ,

side to it. Apart from the common cause of the Oriental


peoples, I was naturally particularly anxious to defend the
interests of my own country's people, which in certain re-
spects seemed to me
to be identical with those of the Greek
people. A wave mutual sympathy was reflected in the
of
Greek press as well as in my organ, in which I admitted the
expression of opinions favourable to common action in de-
fence of the interests of the two peoples against Slavism,
the tendencies of which at the time seemed to be dangerous
to both. This community of sentiment was responsible for
the proposal of a singular task for me on behalf of the press
of Athens. Queen Olga, who was extremely devout, had
had the Gospels translated and printed in the vulgar tongue.
Public feeling in Athens was greatly upset by this, and the
result was a popular rising against the Government, and

especially against M. Theotokis, who was then President of


20
306 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
the Council of Ministers. A portion of the Greek press
asked for my judgment in the matter, but I considered
that for several reasons, and especially that of my own
religion, it was a question altogether outside my compe-
tence. Nevertheless I did my best to explain this popular
outburst, which was caused by the devotion of the Greek
public to the language of their ancestors, of the Apostles
and the Fathers of the Greek Church.
While continued to reside at Brussels, the two sons of
I

Damat Mahmoud —
Prince Saba Eddine and Prince Lut-
fullah —returned from Egypt and settled in Paris, where
they were planning the calling of a congress to discuss the
situation of Turkey. They wanted me to take part in this,
and Prince Lutfullah came to Brussels to see me on the
matter. I was willing to take part in the congress on cer-
tain conditions —namely, that all the ethnical elements in
Turkey should be represented, so that the desiderata of all
the people of the Empire might be formulated. It was
essential, in my opinion, to show that those who were against
Abd-ul-Hamid were acting simply and solely with a view
to creating a national Government that should be equally
impartial and beneficent to all the peoples of the Empire.
My second condition was that the Powers signatory of the
Treaties of Paris and Berlin should know that in the eyes
of the Ottoman people they had pledged their honour con-

cerning the adoption of reforms for the good of the Empire.


If the aid of Europe were invoked, the congress might be
of some value, but if it stopped at the mere expression of

opinions and nothing more was done, I could not see any
use in it. The Young Turks professed to consider it
humiliating to ask for aid from the Powers in what they
ought to be able to do themselves. My conditions were,
however, accepted, and I came to Paris. There was difficulty
at first because the French Government, in consequence of

measures taken by the Turkish Ambassador, refused permis-


sion to hold the congress. This difficulty was removed by
A TURKISH CONGRESS 307

the hospitality of M. Lefeuvre, who placed his own apart-


ment in the Avenue du Trocadero at our disposal. At the
last moment M. Waldeck-Rousseau, President of the
Council and Minister of the Interior, withdrew the opposi-
tion, but as all arrangements had been made, the first
meeting took place in the large drawing-room of M. Lefeuvre.
Subsequent meetings took place at the house of Prince
Saba Eddine, in the Boulevard Malesherbes, where some
forty delegates, representing all the races of the Turkish
Empire, continued to sit for several days.
The first question discussed was to define the vice in the
government of Abd-ul-Hamid, and to seek for a remedy by
legal means and by the sympathy of the Liberal Powers.
But the congress soon found itself confronted by difficulties
arising from two currents of opinion totally opposed and
equally Utopian. The one came from the Young Turks,
the other from the Armenians. The group of Young Turks
presided over by Ahmed Riza (later President of the Cham-
ber and Senator) insisted on the organisation of a central
and centralising power at Constantinople in the interests
of the purely Turkish element. The Armenians, on the
contrary, aimed at the organisation of local government
independent of the central administration, and based solely
upon foreign protection in accordance with Article 61 of
the Treaty of Berlin (which insisted upon the Turkish
Government taking measures, of which the Powers were
to be kept advised, for the protection of the Armenians
against the Kurds and Circassians). The majority of the

Congress strenuously opposed the contentions of the Young


Turks, who were already betraying their narrow and
curious idea of unifying all the races of the Empire by
means of strong action by the Central Government. The
Armenians, however, had no more success with their ideas,
which were unrealisable merely on account of their social
and geographical position in the Empire, in which the
success of a local government would absolutely depend on
308 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
the organisation of a well-intentioned central Government
in harmony with them and favourable to their develop-
ment. After long and excited discussions the majority of
the Congress agreed upon an appeal to the Powers for a
regime consonant with the principles of the Constitution
to embrace all the ethnical elements of Turkey, guarantee-
ing them justice and liberty and the maintenance of their
national rights. The minority, consisting of those who
later on led the revolutionary movement in Turkey, op-
posed this resolution, and had a counter-resolution inserted
in the final proces-verbal. This profession of faith of the
Young Turks, it seems to me, was the basis of the pro-
gramme carried out later on by the Committee of Union
and Progress.
After the Congress, without interrupting my residence at
Brussels, I kept a pied-d-terre in Paris, where, in association
with the two Princes and other political friends, I continued
to push plans for reforms, which I must say were based on
and supported by nothing but our own hopes. Some of
the partisans of our cause had settled at Folkestone, where
they published the Turkish journal Osmanli. It was about
this period that I came to know M. de Blowitz, the famous

correspondent of the Times, and his able assistant, my good


friend, W. Morton Fullerton, who both showed great and
sympathetic interest in me and in my cause, the Paris
the Times being almost a second headquarters for
office of
me at that time. De Blowitz also recommended me to
his adopted son, Stephan Lauzanne, who was at the time
in charge of the office of the Matin in London, and
who always gave me a cordial welcome when I was in
England.
Turkish passed from bad to worse, and the danger
affairs
of a catastropheseemed to be imminent. All our thoughts
were bent upon trying to find a remedy. Our views on the
subject were divided, because while some were disposed
towards violent measures and the raising of revolution in
AN APPEAL TO BRITAIN 309

the country, others were in favour of prudent but slow


measures which could not give immediate results. I myself
was in favour of action that would have the effect of giving
the alarm and attracting the attention of Europe, by which
means the Sultan would be forced to come to terms without
the country being too much upset. For this it was only
necessary to take possession of a dominant position, like
Salonica, for example, or Bolayir, which is the key to the
Dardanelles, with an armed force, and .from there impose
conditions on the Sultan. Marshal Redjeb Pasha, com-
mander of the Army of the Tripolitain, seemed just the
man for such a move. Possessing courage worthy of an
Albanian, as he was, he was also known to be of high
patriotism. If he seized Salonica with a portion of his

army, he would draw to his side all his fellow Albanians ;

while if he disembarked at Bolayir by the Gulf of Saros,


using the ascendancy he had over the Turkish Army, he
would become master of the strongest military position
that Turkey possessed. Through a confidential corres-
pondence Ihad with him we received the assurance that
if the means of
transport were obtained, the Marshal would
be ready to carry out this plan. Our next move was to
secure the material means for the success of our enterprise
and to assure in advance the sympathetic support of the
Powers interested in the maintenance of Turkey, especially
that of Great Britain.
I had an interview with Sir Edmund Monson in Paris,
and explained the matter to him, telling him that the
success of this last attempt to assure the existence of
Turkey depended on the interest that the British Govern-
ment might show in it. After thinking it all over, the Am-
bassador sat down and wrote two personal letters on the

spot one for the Foreign Office and the other for Lord
Onslow, then Under-Secretary for India, asking him to
put me in touch with Mr. Joseph Chamberlain, who was
on the point of leaving for the Cape, and might therefore
3 io ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
be difficult to get hold of. I left for London the same day,
and immediately on my arrival handed my letters to the
Foreign Office and Lord Onslow. Lord Lansdowne, the
Minister for Foreign Affairs, happened to be at Sandringham
with the King, who had as his guest the German Emperor
L ;

but in spite of his absence, I met with just the same busi-
ness precision and quickness as were shown by Sir Edmond
Monson. The following day Lord Sanderson, Permanent
Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, invited me to go and
see him at his private house, and I gave him a detailed

explanation of our proposed course of action and of the


nature of the protection which we asked for from the
British Government, which was simply to protect us against

any action that Russia might bring to bear to prevent the


success of our patriotic action. Lord Sanderson promised
to get into communication with his chief and let me know
his decision. In less than two days I received a second
invitation from the Under-Secretary to go to his house,
and he then read me the letter Lord Lansdowne had written
him on the subject. This gave a promise of support which
was worthy of the traditional policy of Great Britain,
though it was surrounded with a natural reserve dictated
by the fact that our coup was not yet a fait accompli. I
was greatly encouraged, and with the consent of Lord
Sanderson I took a copy of the Minister's letter, which was
in French, to show to my co-workers. As I told Lord
Sanderson I was going to Egypt, it was understood that
Lord Cromer should be advised of my visit in order that
he too might be put au courant of our enterprise, which
would have an important effect on Eastern affairs gener-
ally,and give his advice.
I saw Lord Onslow, but my interview with his
also

colleague of the Foreign Office had given me the weapons


I needed.
Lord Cromer at first startled me at our meeting in Cairo
with the remark that there was now no Turkish question,
HOPES UNREALISED 311

but I insisted that the Turkish question was, if


anything,
more pressing than ever. I pointed out the importance
of having a Turkey strong but friendly, if only in the in-
terests of British policy in Egypt, which had been the

great work and was then the sole preoccupation of the


distinguished Proconsul. Finally he agreed with this view
of the matter, and recognised the advantage of aiding in
the realisation of reforms which would assure the main-
tenance of the Empire, and he promised me that he would
reply to the Foreign Office in this sense.
I now sent for a compatriot of mine, named Jaffre

Brejdani, who had left Constantinople after my departure,


and was staying at an Albanian tike, or monastery, in
Greece, awaiting instructions. I sent him to Tripoli to
see Redjeb Pasha, whose confidence he enjoyed, and come
to an arrangement with him as to what it would be neces-

sary to do. Leaving Cairo again to return to London, at


Marseilles I read in the Paris newspapers the death at
Brussels of Damat Mahmoud Pasha. In Paris I found the
two Princes naturally very much upset at their father's
death, but nevertheless we went to London together and
there made the necessary financial arrangements for our
enterprise. We had now only to find the boats. Prince
Saba-Eddine had assured me that three Greek boats, the
tonnage and dimensions of which he had given me, were
already chartered, and that we had only to go to Athens
to sign the agreement and see them leave for Tripoli.

Unfortunately, when I got to Athens I found out that all


that had been told me about these boats resolved itself into
mere promises and vague suggestions there were no boats
;

and there was no proper understanding. We had to begin


the work of getting transports all over again, and this
work and other negotiations took such a long time that the
period when Redjeb Pasha could take his troops out of
the capital for manoeuvres was past, the season being too
advanced.
312 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
While I wasEgypt, Musurus Bey Ghikis and his wife,
in
desirous of profitingby my stay, came to spend some time
there with me he;
now joined me at Athens, and took
part in all the work devoted to this unfortunately abortive
affair. My relations with the members of the Greek
Government, and in general with all the Greeks, were so
cordial, that from this point of view I had great pleasure
from my stay in Athens. The King, whom I had seen
some months previously in Paris, and to whom I had
spoken about our plan, was consequently aware of the object
of my visit to his capital. But in order that my presence
should not arouse suspicion, it was thought best that I
should live in retirement, and so I stayed under an assumed
foreign name at the house of an officer who was also a
deputy. This life in disguise, however, in a city where I
could hardly go into the streets without being recognised,
irritated me, and made me hasten my business in order
either to be able to return to my normal individuality or
to leave the city.
From Athens I went to Naples to meet Jaffre Brej-
dani, who had returned from Tripoli, and learn from him
the real feelings of my friend, Redjeb Pasha, so as to be
able to lay the ground better for the future. The efforts I
had put forth in this enterprise that had proved so disap-
pointing to me had somewhat undermined my strength,
and I felt the need of a period of rest, which I proceeded

to take in this beautiful country. During my stay at


Naples took place the visits of King Edward and of the
Crown Prince of Germany and one of his brothers. These
royal visits and the presence of the British Fleet lent great
animation to the town, which was beautiful in its spring
vesture, and a particularly attractive festivity at which
I was present was the gala performance given at the San

Carlo Theatre in honour of King Edward, the German


Princes, accompanied by the Duke of the Abruzzi, being
also present. Edward VII was enthusiastically acclaimed
ALBANIANS IN SICILY 313

when he appeared in the royal box with Tittoni, then Pre-


fect of Naples.

Every time I went to Rome and Naples, the Albanians


of Calabria and other parts round Naples, who had been
settled there since the death of Scanderbeg, retaining both
their language and their national habits, and who now
formed a colony of some 200,000 souls, used to come and
see me and discuss the interests of the country which they
still had so much at heart, feeling suse as they did of the
sympathetic support in these sentiments of their adopted
country. The Albanian colony of Sicily also wanted to
see me, and pressed me to go and spend some time with
them. Accordingly I went to Palermo, passing by Messina,
where I spent several days, and I shall never forget the
cordial reception of which I was made the object at Palermo.
There was a fete every evening, and among other festivities
I was invited to the gala performance at the opera for
Queen Amalie of Portugal, who was on her way back from
a visit to Egypt with her two sons. The most important
centre of the Albanians in Sicily is Piana dei Greci, on a
height some twenty miles from Palermo. I was invited

there, and was received just as if I had been in my own


country, most of the notables of the other Albanian centres
being assembled to meet me. It was a touching scene
when almost the entire population of women and children,
attired in Albanian national costumes, and accompanied
by bands, ran towards us to touch our clothes as if we
were a portion of the beloved native soil, and my com-
panion Jaffre was moved to tears.
I spent a few weeks at Naples on my return for a rest,

and from there I went again to Rome, where I passed most


of the summer. While I was in the Eternal City, Pope
Leo XIII fell ill, and every one watched the progress of the
august patient's illness with interest and sympathy, though
his great age from the beginning left little room for hope.
The Conclave after his death lasted longer than usual, and
314 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
gave comments and rumours of the most contra-
rise to

dictory character. The members of the Conclave were, it


appeared, very divided, and foreign influence especially—
that of Austria-Hungary—played a great role in the at-
tempt to set aside the candidature of Rampolla. People
had begun to think the Conclave would never end, when,
one day, while I was taking a walk in the square before
St. Peter's, the famous chimney of the Vatican began

suddenly to smoke, giving the signal of the election. The


square was immediately rilled with people, who cheered the
elect of the Holy Ghost without knowing who he was. But
a little later, from one of the balconies of the Basilica,
which was covered with a velvet canopy, Pius X, Patriarch
of Venice, was proclaimed to the people who had already
acclaimed him.
One of my old Albanian friends, Said Effendi, came to
see me at Rome on the question of going to Tripoli to
arrive at an understanding with Marshal Redjeb Pasha.
He returned from Tripoli a little while later very much
exhausted by an illness from which he had long been suf-

fering. We
got the best doctors in Rome for him, but his
malady was incurable. He recovered his strength a little,
and went home to his native country of Dibra, where he
died a few days after his arrival.
The lack of agreement among the Turkish reformers
which had become manifest during the Paris Congress
prevented any possibility of united political action likely
to give reason to hope for a change in Turkish affairs. On
the other hand, the troubles in Macedonia increased, and
the directors of Turkish policy at Constantinople, instead
of arriving at an understanding with the Powers which
would have been interested in maintaining Turkish in-
tegrity, adopted a mischievous policy which drove the
people to acts of desperation. Having lost all hope of
doing anything salutary for Turkey, all my efforts, as well
as those of Redjeb Pasha and other Albanian patriots, were
TELEGRAM FROM THE SULTAN 315

devoted to the task of trying to save Albania from the


disaster which we now realised was inevitable. From this
period until iqo8 I spent most of my time in Brussels,
though I made several journeys to Greece, Italy, and Eng-
land on missions connected with the service of my country,
as I shall explain in the chapter devoted to the Albanian
question.
I now heard from my friends at Constantinople that

another attempt was to be made on rny life, an individual


having been sent to Belgium for that purpose, accompanied
by the Turkish Vice-Consul at Corfu, who, knowing me,
was to point me out to the assassin. I informed M. Dela-
tour, the chief of police, of the matter, and he was very
kind and attentive, having me followed by members of the
forcewhenever I went out, while Iwas put into touch
with an officer whom I could call upon at the shortest
notice should I need him. Soon after receiving this
unpleasant information from Turkey, I was annoyed by a
man of foreign aspect who spent days in walking up and
down the Avenue Louise between my house and the Place
Stephanie. One day, unable to bear it any longer, 1 slipped
a revolver into my pocket, went out, and walked towards
thisman, followed by a police officer to whom I had com-
municated my suspicions. The fellow, seeing us approach,
turned away and walked off, and I was never troubled
with him any more.
Returning from Greece on the last occasion, I again spent
some time at Naples and then went on to Switzerland,
where at Leysin my son Djevdad, who was suffering from
tuberculosis, was passing the winter. I returned to Paris,
where I took an apartment in the Rue Mont-Thabor, and
it was while I was here that
Muhijeddin Bey, the Turkish
Charge" d' Affaires, woke me up at one o'clock on the morn-
ing of July 22nd to show me a telegram from the Sultan
to the following purport :

"
If time had allowed (the telegram ran) I would have
316 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
sent my man, Ilias Bey, to Ismail Kemal Bey
confidential
to confer with him as to what had best be done at this
critical juncture. Go to him immediately and beg him to
give you his written opinion, which you will forward to
me by telegraph."
This was in consequence of the massacres that had taken
place and the decision taken
by Europe regarding the organ-
isation of Macedonia, which seemed to the Albanians likely
to compromise their national unity. Ten thousand armed
Albanians had met at Ferizovic on July 15th, 1908, and
sent the Sultan a famous telegram, which had produced a
greater impression on him than the remonstrances of all
the Turks or all the diplomatic representations of Europe.
Ihanded the Sultan's representative my reply, which
advised His Majesty without a moment's delay to promul-
gate the Constitution, that being the only efficacious

remedy and the only sure way of grouping round his throne
allthe peoples of the Empire. And as I now understood
the mentality and morality of the Young Turks, as well as
their motive for the political course they were pursuing, I
also recommended His Majesty to take all necessary mea-
sures to prevent aggression on the part of the adventurers
in power, and to attract to himself, without their interven-

tion, the confidence and help of the Albanian people. Two


days later the Constitution was promulgated, and, in
obedience to a fresh order of the Sultan, a report setting
forth my plan, which I had laid before the Charge d' Affaires,
was forwarded to the Sovereign by the same channel.
Munir Pasha, the Ambassador in Paris, was away at
Kustendje on a Government mission when he learned of
the revolution at Constantinople. He returned to Paris
at once, and communicated to me a request from Kiamil
Pasha that I should return to Turkey. I replied that I
would not return until the sentence against me had been
annulled and I was restored to all my civil rights. Going
to London immediately afterwards, I received an official
IZZET PASHA IN LONDON 317

from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through


notification
the Ambassador, of the annulment of the judgment against
me and my restitution and reintegration to my rights.
About this time the Standard published a telegram from
Italy which stated that some two to three thousand Al-
banians had arrived at Bari to meet me and escort me to
Valona. On the following day I received a telegram,
signed by a number of Albanian notables, in which in the
name my compatriots they invited me to go to Valona
of all
at once and accept the mission of being their representative
at the Chamber which was to be convoked.
Among others who had left Constantinople now that the
Young Turks were in power was Izzet Pasha, who bought
a boat and escaped on it, flying the British flag. One day,
as I was dining at the Hotel Cecil in company with a French
friend, Madame Muraur, to my great surprise Izzet Pasha
walked in and took a seat at the table next to me. He
recognised me also, and the next day he left the hotel but, ;

on my inquiring for him at the office, I found that he was


unknown, having registered under an Italian pseudonym.
It got abroad somehow that Izzet was in London and that
I had recognised him, and the next day, which I happened

to be spending at Hastings, the hotel was beseiged by


journalists asking for me. On my return in the evening I
was asked to communicate by telephone with the Daily
Mail, which I did, and it was on that occasion that I first
met Mr. William Maxwell, the correspondent of that paper.
Mr. Maxwell traced Izzet Pasha to a neighbouring hotel,
and he returned to tell me that Izzet was anxious to meet
me. We did meet, and, in fact, the journalist and I were
entertained at luncheon a day or two later by the Sultan's
ex-favourite.
I went back to Albania, in accordance with the wish of
my compatriots, and at Athens, where I stayed a few days
en route, I was joined by the chieftain of the Mirdites, Prink
Doda Pasha. He accompanied me as far as Valona, whence
318 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
he returned to his native country, which he had not seen for
a number of years, having been forced at first to live at
Kastamounia and then transferred to Constantinople,
where he was attached to the Palace with the rank of General
of Brigade in the Sultan's Albanian Guards.
At Corfu all the notables of my native country came to
meet me, and we went together to Valona. A few days
later my three sons who had remained in Paris, as well as

my eldest son, who had spent seven years of exile at Bitlis,


came and joined me. While I was at Valona two impor-
tant political events took place, which threw considerable
consternation among the public of the East, especially in
Albania. proclaimed the annexation pure and
Austria
simple of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Bulgaria declared
her independence. I was puzzled to know what would be
the attitude of the officers of the Turkish Army represent-
ing the Committee of Union and Progress in face of these
serious events. The country, greatly shaken, manifested
frank indignation against Austria, which it showed by
entirely boycotting that country commercially. But the
representatives of the Committee did no more than announce
that there was nothing extraordinary in these events,
which were simply the realisation of the legitimate aspira-
tions of the peoples Essad Pasha, who was on his way
!

to Salonica to present his submission to the Central Com-


mittee sitting there, came to see me, and I asked him to
convey personal views on the matter to the committee,
my
and to tell those who were thus taking a pride in this
change of regime, that the consequences for the future of
the Empire would be very serious if these political changes
were accepted. A few days later Essad Pasha wrote
me saying the committee was not at all disposed to offer
any resistance in the matter. A little later I learned from
a reliable source what the directing idea of the committee
was, and how they had contrived to bring about this poli-
tical change. Their object was to ensure the triple ad van-
ELECTORAL CAMPAIGN 319

tage of obtaining popularity for themselves throughout the


country, discrediting the former Statesmen, of whom they
wanted to get rid at all costs, and using this political liquida-
tion as a means of ridding the country of foreign influence,
so as to be able to apply their policy of racial unification
with the utmost vigour.
The electoral campaign followed upon these events, and
a lively competition took place between the two cousins,
Omer Pasha and Aziz Pasha Virione, for the candidature
of second deputy of Berat, of which I had been unanimously
elected the firstmember. A few days before the close of
the poll, Suleyman Bey Sakram came to see me, and told
me confidentially that he had come to Valona in company
with an officer who had been sent by the Central Com-
mittee of Salonica to take all necessary measures to pre-
vent my election. This seemed to me so incredible, that I
attributed it to a manoeuvre on the part of my visitor in
order to get his brother, Aridin Bey, accepted as candidate,
as he urged me to take him as my colleague. But when
I was shown a copy of the instructions, I had no further

doubt on the matter, and before he left, the officer in ques-


tion came to see me and confirmed the fact, making me
his excuses. Not only that, but a military doctor, who
also represented the committee, and had been given similar
instructions, was told that if my election could not be pre-
vented, he was to find out from me what was my political
programme. When he came to tell me this, I replied that
my political views were surely clear enough from the acts
of my whole life, and that it would be more proper for me .

to ask what were the political views of those who were so


interrogating me.
I left Valona for Constantinople, but made a detour via

Rome, Venice, Buda-Pesth, Bucharest, and Constanza.


During the journey from Italy to Hungary a pleasant inci-
dent was my meeting with the charming Mme. Frankfurten,
wife of the American director of the Austrian Lloyd Co.,
320 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
who took me to her house in Buda-Pesth for lunch, and
with whom spent a day seeing the sights of the city, a
I

pleasure not less real because her motive was partly to


interest me in the Austrian Lloyd Company, which was

suffering severely from the boycott of Turkey.


CHAPTER XVIII

1908 — 1909

Return to Constantinople, and my reception there Kiamil Pasha's
— —
Vizierate Young Turk intrigues The Bosnia-Herzegovina
and Bulgaria questions, and my work on them The plot —
against Kiamil Pasha Hussein Hilmi Pasha Grand Vizier—


Russian pretensions Arbitrary acts of the new Government
— —
Young Turk intimidation Growing discontent which at

last bursts The military rebellion of April 13TH, and my

PART IN IT A MEMORABLE DAY.

I found on my arrival at Constantinople (in November,


1908) that the Young Turks had succeeded in gaining very
great power and influence. They did their
best to prevent
my arrival and reception having any official character, but,
in spite of their efforts, the welcome accorded me by the
Albanian colony and by my personal friends was a flatter-

ing and brilliant one. A processionwith music met me


and conducted me to the Albanian Club, where a number
of patriotic speeches were delivered. Next day the Grand
Vizier, Kiamil Pasha, sent word that he would like to meet
me as soon as possible. At our first interview I told him
all I had learned about the burning questions of the annexa-

tion of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the independence of


Bulgaria in connection with the manoeuvres of the Young
Turk Committee. Kiamil Pasha told me he had been
nourishing the project of having me in the Ministry as
Minister for Foreign Affairs. Though I accepted this offer
in principle, I was anxious that, before any such change
took place, the Grand Vizier's position should be strengthened
21 321
322 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
by a vote of the Chamber following the declaration of policy
that he was going to make.
During the first few days the doyen among the members
acted as President of the Chamber, and the assembly then
proceeded to elect a. president and other officers. A large
proportion of the deputies were in favour of my candidature,
in spite of my discouraging this in view of the Grand
Vizier's intentions with regard to me, and although the

Young Turk leaders were opposed to me. Finally I had to


announce inopen sitting that I could not accept the candi-
dature. The Committee's candidate, Ahmed Riza, was
elected president by a large majority.
Kiamil Pasha put together the essential points of his
declaration of policy, and asked Zohrab Effendi, an
Armenian deputy, and myself to study it with him and
help him draw up the completed text. As we were of the
opinion that it was necessary above all to insist on the
necessity of changing the Constitution and emphasising the
question of the National Sovereignty, the Grand Vizier
entrusted us with the entire work. We spent two days and
nights on the task, which, when completed, Kiamil Pasha
accepted in its entirety, and a few days later our programme
was read in the Chamber on behalf of the Grand Vizier,
whose great age did not permit him to do this, by the
Under-Secretary of State of the Grand Vizierate. The
declaration caused a profound sensation, and was the occasion
of an absolute ovation for the Grand Vizier, who was in
the tribune beside the reader.
But in spite of the vote of confidence and of the great
popularity which Kiamil Pasha enjoyed at this time, the
Young Turk leaders did all they could to diminish the
Grand Vizier's authorityand increase their own influence.
Two or three of them stayed at the Palace day and night
in order to watch the acts and movements of the Sultan,
and especially to take note of his visitors. The Parliament
House was guarded by the three battalions of Chasseurs
A POLITICAL' ANOMALY 323

brought from Salonica with the express intention of threa-


tening those who opposed the Young Turks. All sorts of
intrigues were started against Kiamil Pasha, and several
unpleasant incidents occurred showing the state of tension
that existed, and presaging the open* hostility that was
soon to break out.
Kiamil Pasha was certainly to blame for not, at the
beginning, taking the severe measures necessary in the
interests of public order to dissolve the Committee and thus

destroy the mischievous influence they were exercising on


public life. Once the desired change had been brought
about by the action of this Committee, there was no further
reason forits continued existence, and it became an anomaly

in a Constitutional State. Naturally we never thought it


capable of seizing the absolute power, and the Grand Vizier
at this time used it as a weapon of defence against the

Sultan. He continued his negotiations on the questions


of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Bulgaria, and made use of
my aid and counsel as if I were actually Minister. Kiamil
Pasha had informed Tewfik Pasha, the holder of the port-
folio of Foreign Affairs, that he wanted him to vacate
the post in my favour. He very amiably consented to
retire, and I owe it to him to say that he never showed
the slightest animosity or ill-feeling towards me in the
matter.
In order to settle the Bosnia-Herzegovina question, we
had decided to accept the situation created by Austria-
Hungary on condition that that Government undertook to
renew the guarantee of the integrity of the Ottoman Empire
by a protocol to be submitted to the other Powers who had
signed the Treaties of Paris and Berlin. My negotiations
in the matter were mostly with Baron Marschall von
Bieberstein, who took the leading part in the affair beside
his Austro-Hungarian colleague. He approved our sug-
gestions, and, a few days after I had presented them, he
sent his secretary to tell me they were accepted, and Palla-
324 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
vicini,the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador, received instruc-
tions from his Government to sign the protocol.
The negotiations on this and the Bulgarian question
were following their normal course and were approaching
a satisfactory conclusion, but Kiamil Pasha considered it
essential that the Cabinet should be definitely constituted
before they were terminated. I myself was of opinion

that before we went any further we should assure ourselves


of a strong and reliable Minister of War and Minister of
Marine, so that in case of any trouble we should be sure of
the support of these two services. I considered the person
best suited to take the portfolio of war, and one in whom
we could place absolute confidence, was Nazim Pasha, who
had recently returned from exile and been appointed
commander of the Second Army Corps, with headquarters
at Andrianople. As Kiamil Pasha did not know him per-
sonally, we decided to ask Musurus Bey to go to see the
General at Andrianople, but it chanced that Nazim Pasha,
in the course of a tour of inspection of the troops under
his command, had to pass by Constantinople, and so we
took advantage of the fact to present him to Kiamil Pasha.
He gave all the necessary guarantees and was appointed
Minister for War.
The appointment to this post of a man of the calibre of
Nazim Pasha, and also the fact that Kiamil Pasha had
taken measures to have the troops from Salonica returned
to that city, ostensibly to replace other troops that had
been moved to frontier stations, alarmed the Committee.
The Minister of Marine had already resigned, but his resig-
nation had not been accepted by the Grand Vizier.
Now Hussein Hilmi, Minister of the Interior, at a meet-
ing of the Ministerial Council, handed in his resignation,
saying that he could not form part of a Cabinet in which
the President made such changes without consulting his
colleagues. Several interpellations on the matter were pre-
sented in the Chamber. Kiamil Pasha was asked to come
CHANGE OF GRAND VIZIER 325

immediately and reply, and Enver Bey and the other


officers who were playing a leading role on the Committee,
armed with revolvers and other weapons, swarmed in the
lobbies and threatened the deputies to iorce them to vote
against Kiamil Pasha. At the same time other chiefs of
the Committee in Parliament used all manner of threats
against their colleagues. These threats reached such a
point that Zohrab Bey, the Armenian deputy, who had
been talking to Talaat Bey, the Young Turk leader, came
to me and begged me in the public interest, and
in fright
even Kiamil Pasha himself, not to oppose this
in that of
movement. I told him it was impossible for me to change
my opinions and vote against Kiamil Pasha. He ended by
declaring that matters had gone so far that the Armenians
were threatened with massacre. The naval officers on the
vessels in the harbour also sent a telegram of protest to
the Chamber threatening to fire on the city.
As when the message reached him Kiamil Pasha was in
conference with Austro-Hungarian Ambassador, he
the
replied by letter that he could not go to the Chamber at
once, and asked that the interpellations should be post-
poned to another day. The Unionists, nevertheless, insisted
on getting a vote of no confidence in the Grand Vizier. The
fight was a bitter one, but Kiamil Pasha's enemies were
so violent that, in spite of the proceeding being so contrary
to the Constitution and even the regulations of the Chamber,
the great majority had to accept the resolution concern-
ing his revocation. After registering my protest against
these proceedings, I voted for Kiamil Pasha in an ordre
du jour, which only seven of my colleagues had the
courage to sign. The same evening Ahmed Riza went
to the Palace, by a company of troops, and
escorted
forced the Sultan to sanction the revocation of Kiamil
Pasha.
Hussein Hilmi Pasha was at once appointed Grand
Vizier, and the next day he took possession of his post at
326 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
the Porte, where the Imperial Hatb was read appointing

him in the place of Kiamil Pasha a most unconstitutional
act. He presented himself to the Chamber with his
Cabinet formed, read his programme, and received a vote
of confidence. Minje was almost the only vote in opposi-
tion —
an opposition which I based upon the fact that the
Minister for War, Aleza Pasha, who had held the post in
the former administration, had merited dismissal from his
office through his having written a letter to Kiamil Pasha

declaring that if he was desired to mobilise the


army against
Bulgaria, he would not take the responsibility, but would
prefer to resign (which he forthwith did, being appointed
High Commissioner in Egypt), and that, therefore, he was
unsuited to fill the post again.
As soon as he was installed, the new Grand Vizier took
up the negotiations with the Austro-Hungarian Ambas-
sador and with the representative of Bulgaria. A protocol
was drawn up and signed by the delegates on both sides, and
was submitted to the Chamber to be approved before sub-
mission to the Sultan. The protocol accepted the annexa-
tion of the two provinces on condition that the Caliphate of
the Sultan over the Mussulmans of the country should be
recognised, and that a sum of £T2, 500,000 should be paid
as the equivalent in value of the State domains and vakoufs.
The independence of Bulgaria and the incorporation with
that principality of the autonomous province of Eastern
Roumelia were also recognised in virtue of the payment of
a sum representing the capitalisation of the war indemnity
which Turkey was paying to Russia. At the Grand Vizier's
request the Chamber held a sitting in secret committee,
when, after hearing the various documents read, the Grand
Vizier's expose and the explanations of Gabriel Narou-
dunkian Effendi, in his capacity as delegate of the Porte,
we asked that copies of the protocol should be printed and
distributed among the deputies. But the Grand Vizier
opposed this, which would have been the proper procedure,
A DANGEROUS PRECEDENT 327

and insisted that the Chamber should examine and vote


the protocol at that sitting.
Since I, as I have already said, was in Kiamil Pasha's
time the virtual negotiator of this question, and had suc-
ceeded in obtaining from Austria-Hvmgary the signature
of a treaty by which that country would recognise the
retrocession of the Sanjak of Novi-Bazar and guarantee it
against any aggression, I spoke on the matter, and opposed
the arrangement as being contrary to^the interests of the
Empire. I knew very well that the retrocession of Bosnia
and Herzegovina to Turkey would be neither possible nor
even useful, but at the same time I felt that to abandon
the Sovereign rights over a portion of the Empire in con-
sideration of a pecuniary indemnity, no matter what form
it took, was an act dishonourable to the Sovereignty of the

Sultan and a dangerous precedent for the integrity of the


Empire, and it was to counteract this danger that I worked
to obtain in exchange for the cession of these provinces an
undertaking from Austria-Hungary to guarantee the Sanjak
of Novi-Bazar, as an integral part of the Empire, against
all aggression. This arrangement between the two States,
when submitted to and accepted by the Powers who had
signed the Treaties of Paris and Berlin, would constitute
the renewal of their collective guarantee of the integrity of
the Empire.
In making known my views on this subject, I insisted on
the necessity of obtaining these guarantees by the signa-
ture of the first protocol, and as proof of the prejudice which
the new arrangement as now submitted might have on
the future of the Empire, I brought to the notice of the
Chamber the aims of Russia, which that Power was not
behindhand in making known on this occasion. I had in

my possession copies of two letters


—one from Turham
Pasha, containing proposals made by Tcharikoff, gerant of
the Ministry for Foreign Affairs there, and the other from
Naoum Pasha, Ambassador in Paris, relating proposals
328 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
made by M. Isvolsky, the Russian Minister for Foreign
Affairs,

during a stay he made in Paris and I read these
to the Chamber. The Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs
and his gerant, as
compensation for this territorial acquisi-
tion by Austria-Hungary, asked for nothing less than the

opening of the straits of the Bosphorous and the Dardanelles


to the Russian Fleet, with the right to hold a point on the
straits which would give them the means of defending
themselves !

As to Bulgaria, I also insisted on the solution of the


problem which I had planned, and which Kiamil Pasha had

accepted the recognition of Bulgaria's independence with
the incorporation of Eastern Roumelia, but on condition
that this latter province should be proclaimed neutral
under the guarantee of the Powers. This arrangement,
while not affecting the sovereignty of Bulgaria, had this
advantage, that it would have made all conflict between
the two States impossible.
These explanations, and the revelations as to Russia's
intrigue,produced such an impression on my colleagues,
that the protocol would have been thrown out had not
Rifaat Pasha and Gabriel Effendi used all the sophistical
arguments they could command to make their hearers
believe that the new regime would dispense the Empire from
all need of foreign guarantees, and that the Cabinet would

have insurmountable difficulties to face if the protocol were


not at once voted.
I had thus the satisfaction of having fulfilled
my last
patriotic duty, though, unfortunately, it was one more
chance lost, since the protocol was voted without any
amendment by an overwhelming majority.
The arbitrary acts of the new Cabinet, and the Committee's
interference in all departments of the Government, pro-
voked a feeling of general discontent which increased daily
until it reached really alarming
proportions. The first
measures submitted to the Chamber by the Government
A YOUNG TURK CRIME 329

were the law against the bands in Macedonia and in the


other parts of European Turkey, and the law on corporal
punishment, which ordained the bastinado for certain
delinquencies, such as vagrancy.
I combated both measures as being impolitic and in-

human. As regarded the flogging, it seemed to me a


singularly retrograde law in a country which had joined
the concert of the European Powers and was supposed to
be modelling its customs upon those. of liberal countries.
The drastic law upon the bands was even more barbarous,
since it enacted that if any one member of a family joined
these bands, the whole family should be exiled and their
goods confiscated so that a whole village might be penalised
;

for the act of one member of the community. The main


object of the Committee in making this law was simply to
get the entire power into their own hands in order to act
with severity against the different nations, especially the
Albanians.
Public indignation against these enactments rose to
great heights, and the newspapers began to use strong
language in their attacks against the Committee. The
latter, seeing the danger from this public discontent, had
recourse to grave acts of intimidation. The first of these
was the assassination of the chief editor of one of the opposi-
tion papers, Hassan Femi. An imposing popular demon-
stration took place at the funeral of this victim of the
so-called Liberal regime of the Young Turks, the public

being roused to fury as much by the attitude of the au-


thorities and the police as by the murder itself. One
might have thought the whole of Constantinople was
attending this funeral in order to protest against those
who were trying thus to stifle the voice of liberty by criminal
means.
An incident which might have had very grave conse-
quences took place just as the funeral procession was
leaving for the Cathedral of St. Sophia. The carriage of
330 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
the Grand Vizier approached, and, instead of waiting for it

to pass, the Grand Vizier tried to cut through the procession.


Taking this as an intentional insult, the people were roused
"
to a pitch of fury, cries of Death to him " were raised,
!

and would probably have gone badly with Hussein Hilmi


it

if I had not stood between him and the mob and


implored
them to keep calm. We succeeded in diverting the Grand
Vizier's carriage into another direction, and the funeral

procession continued on its way.


The political atmosphere became more and more threa-
tening, and the Grand Vizier, as well as the other chiefs of
the Committee, began to realise the danger surrounding
them. One day, as I was going into the Chamber, I met
Talaat Bey coming out. He stopped me and spoke about
the condition of affairs, saying that we must all concert
to find a remedy. The following Friday evening a mes-
senger brought me an urgent letter from the Grand Vizier
asking me to go and see him that same evening and take with
me Mefid Bey and Zohrab Effendi and any other adherents
of our cause whom I might choose. The hour was late,
and the general situation did not encourage me to make
this visit at such an hour, so I did not go. The next morn-
ing got Mefid Bey to go and see the Grand Vizier and
I

explain the reasons why I had not gone to him and ask
whether he still wished to see me and on what business.
Some hours later the Grand Vizier himself came to the
Chamber to see me and pressed me to go and call on him
the next evening, taking with me such of my colleagues as
I chose. On the Sunday evening therefore, I went to the
private residence of the Grand Vizier at Chichli, accom-
panied by Mefid Bey. Hussein Hilmi Pasha told us the
Ministry realised that we were probably on the brink of
serious events which, if they were not averted, might bring
about the downfall of the Constitutional regime. He had
sent for me and my friends because we, being the staunchest
advocates of the Liberal Government, would suffer par-
A MILITARY REVOLT 331

ticularly from a reaction, and he appealed to us to help


them find a remedy for the present state of affairs. He
added some personal compliments to myself, saying he
had always nurtured a hope of having me as a colleague,
and that for that reason he had himself kept the Ministry
of the Interior, but that he had never offered me the

portfolio, as he had understood from Kiamil Pasha that I


would not be willing to accept it. I replied that we were
on our side thoroughly aware of the, grave danger threa-
tening the country, but that, as it was the Committee and
the new Government representing it that had brought things
to this pass, it was for them and not for us to seek for the

remedy. If they could decide on a programme likely to


bring about improvement, if they would submit it to us
and we agreed upon it, we would do everything in our
power to help them to improve the situation. The Grand
Vizier seemed to be satisfied with this statement of our
position, and said he would immediately consult with
Talaat Bey and the other chiefs of the Committee, and
that they would probably ask us to meet again to come to
some arrangement.
Two days later (on Tuesday, April 13th, 1909) I was
awakened early in the morning to learn that the guardian
of the Galata Bridge had come to say he had an urgent and
serious communication to make to me. I received him at

once, and he told me that soldiers had been crossing the


bridge all night, and that the entire army had marched in
the direction of the Chamber, inviting all those who had
respect for religion and love of the country to follow them.
Thinking the man must be a prey to some illusion or had
perhaps gone quite mad, I sent to make inquiries at the
corps de garde of the quarter. I received confirmation of
the news, and immediately left for the Chamber with
my two sons. At the entrance to the bridge I stopped at
the headquarters of the corps de garde of Galata in order
to get more precise information and to find out if circula-
332 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
tionwas free on the bridge and in the adjoining streets.
Here I was joined by Rifaat Bey, my colleague in the
Chamber representing Antioch. We soon realised the full
nature of this astounding revolt of the army. Among the
ringleaders, as we found out afterwards, were the very
regiments of Chasseurs which the Committee had brought
from Salonica for their own aggressive purposes.
The neighbourhood of the Chamber and the building
itself were filled with, troops. There were about 25,000 of
them outside, while the hall and galleries of the Chamber
were crowded with soldiers, all armed, without a single
officer, and with a good sprinkling of the public. The
Government and the representatives of the Committee had
fled, as had also Ahmed Riza, the President of the Chamber.
Such of the deputies as were present, numbering about
sixty, met in the Chamber, where the Sheik-ul-Islam, with
the Ulemas supporting him, took up their positions on the
Ministerial benches. The debating-hall was also invaded
by public and soldiers. Although their attitude was
neither troublesome nor threatening, this invasion was
very derogatory to the dignity of Parliament. On my
requesting the public to withdraw, they did so quietly and
respectfully but the soldiers, who were the leaders of the
;

movement, refused to do so, saying they would keep quiet


in a corner of the Chamber in order to follow the debate,
and would do no harm. At the instigation of his com-
panions, the youngest of the Ulemas, named Rassim
Effendi, went into the tribune and delivered a violent
speech against the Committee, the President of the Cham-
ber, and their adherents, describing their acts and policy
as anti-religious, anti-patriotic, and contrary to morality
and the decency dictated by religion and the traditions
of national life. After this attack we debated the matter.
I was the first to speak, and I said that we were face to

face with a movement which, though it arose from no evil


intention towards the Constitutional regime or hostility to
AN EVENTFUL DAY 333

the Chamber, was nevertheless, in the way it was carried


out, a danger for public order and for the prestige of the
State. It was clear, I added, that at the moment there
was no other authority capable of acting in this emergency
except the national representatives, and our first duty was
therefore to declare the fall of the Cabinet, which had by
its arbitrary acts provoked this regrettable movement,
and by its lack of foresight had permitted the army of

the capital to show its indignation in, a manner so incom-


patible with military duty and discipline. Thereupon a
rather confused discussion took place between the deputies,
which was drawn out to a length that they ought never to
have permitted themselves in view of the gravity of the
situation. This long debate irritated the soldiers, and a
few of them made sarcastic remarks to the deputies on their
inability to come to a conclusion. Finally we decided to
form a deputation to go to the Palace and submit to the
Sultan the resolution to dismiss the old Cabinet and form
a new one, and also our desire that a general amnesty
should be granted to all who had taken part in the move-
ment. This we had to promise the soldiers in order to
prevent further trouble. The deputation was composed of
the Sheik-ul-Islam, myself, and nine other deputies.
We started off in carriages, the Sheik-ul-Islam leading,
and passed through the masses of troops without any
hmdrance. When we thought we had reached the end of
the lines and groups of soldiers, we were suddenly stopped,
near the Sublime Porte, and told we could go no further
by other soldiers who had been posted there and been given
orders not to let any one pass. Their rifles were levelled
at us to enforce the threat. I left my carriage to go and

parley with these men, but they would not listen to reason,
and we were finally compelled to return the way we had
come. On our return to the Chamber, just as I was getting
down from my carriage, a terrible fusillade took place which
gave rise to a general panic, since nobody knew whence
334 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
the firing came or against whom it was directed or its
motives. All my colleagues took refuge in various corners
of the Parliament House, and it was only with great diffi-

culty that we were able to get together again. We


then
learned that the firing had taken place because the deputy
for Syria, Mir Emin Reuslan, who bore some resemblance
to the hated Djavid, director of the Young Turk newspaper
Tanin, desirous of taking advantage of our leaving also to
get away, had started in his carriage with an Englishman
named Bethlem. The deputy was fired at and killed.
During this affair my own coachman took fright and
bolted, leaving the carriage to its own devices, and it also
disappeared.
We then took possession of the telegraph office of the
Chamber, and from there by telegraph and telephone sub-
mitted to the Sultan the decisions we had come to and
which we had intended to lay before him in person. The
small office was filled with deputies and soldiers and the
public to such an extent that I was very much afraid it
would collapse under us. The soldiers were clamouring to
learn that the new Government had been appointed, and
suggested as candidates for Grand Vizier, Kiarr.il Pasha or
myself, and for Minister of War, Edhem Pasha or Nazim
Pasha. The most urgent matter, in our opinion, was the
appointment of the new War Minister, who could come
and take command of the troops and ensure their return
to their headquarters in order.
The Palace took a long time to decide upon the new

appointments, and refused to nominate a War Minister


before the Grand Vizier was appointed, though we im-
pressed upon them the necessity of announcing this ap-
pointment to the troops as quickly as possible. Our tele-
grams to the Palace (which I drew up and which were
signed by the Sheik-ul-Islam and myself), as well as the
replies, were at once communicated to the waiting
crowds
and printed for distribution. As our insistent entreaties
NEW MINISTERS 335

to know the name of the new Minister for War remained


unheeded, and the hour was advancing, in order to be
prepared for any emergency, I induced Ismail Hakki
Pasha, our military colleague in the Chamber, to take on
this responsibility pro tern., and he sent for his uniform so
as to have it in readiness,
After a long delay the announcement came from the
Palace that the Sultan had decided upon Tewfik Pasha as
Grand Vizier. Later on we received a, telegram announcing
that the request for a general amnesty had been accepted
by His Majesty, and an Imperial Hatt to that effect was
being brought by the First Secretary of the Palace. This
telegram, as well as the one received a few minutes later,
which announced the nomination of Marshal Edhem Pasha
as Minister for War— copies
of which, signed by the Sheik-
ul-Islam, myself, and the other deputies and senators pre-
sent,

were handed to the soldiery seemed to calm the
excitement. A little Secretary arrived
later the First
bearing the Hatt, accompanied by the usual ceremonial.
We held a meeting of the Chamber immediately afterwards,
some more deputies having joined the original sixty, and I
was unanimously elected President of the Chamber, and
took the presidential chair. The Hatt was read in the
Chamber, and afterwards to the crowd and the army in
the square before the Parliament building, and the Sultan's
name was loudly cheered. Soon after this a fresh telegram
arrived from the Palace announcing the departure of the
new Minister for War, escorted by a regiment of cavalry
and a battalion of infantry, and asking that the First
Secretary
— who had been detained pending the settlement
of certain questions — should return at once.
On receipt of this news we decided to take our depar-
all

ture, but when I reached the door of the Parliament build-


ing reflected that to leave all the troops at that late hour
I

without any representative of the Chamber with them


might lead to disorder. So Rifaat Bey and I decided to
336 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
remain and wait for the arrival of Edhem Pasha. The
hours passed, however, and the new Minister did not arrive,
which caused the soldiers again to become restive and im-
patient. Our own anxiety was increased by the fact that
the telegraph and telephone with the Palace having been
cut, we could no longer communicate with them.
While we were waiting, the leaders of the soldiers rushed
to tell me they had just learned that cannon and machine-

guns were being brought to the Ministry of War, and that


they thought it was for the purpose of firing on them. I
did all I could to reassure them, and a little later they came
back and informed me that they had been able to take
possession of these guns, which were now in the St. Sophia
Square. It was at moment that the Minister of
this
Marine, who was wearingthe uniform of a general of artil-
lery, accompanied by the Minister of Justice, en route to
the Palace to join their colleagues and sign their act of
resignation, were attacked by the soldiers, who were furious
at the moving of the cannon, as the Minister of the Marine
was mistaken for the Commander of the Artillery. This
Minister drew a revolver, and a sharp exchange of shots
took place, as the result of which he was wounded, and
his colleague was killed outright. They were brought to
the Chamber, where they were placed in rooms under the
care of soldiers.
In spite of the assurance that the soldiers were in pos-
session of these guns, they were still extremely anxious
for fear they might be attacked by the regiments that had
remained at the Ministry of War. The slightest incident
might indeed have caused a sanguinary collision which
would have had terrible consequences for the whole city.
In spite of the opposition of the Sultan's First Secretary, I
insisted that Izzet Pasha, chief of the General Staff, who
had temporarily taken charge of the Ministry, should
send these regiments to join the other troops and fraternise
with them. These regiments accordingly arrived, and
INCIDENTS OF A REVOLT 337

were received by their comrades with enthusiasm. The


" accolade " of the and the little ceremony of
flags
fraternisation formed quite an interesting and attractive
spectacle.
This event, and the withdrawal to a safe place of Mahmoud
Moukhtar Pasha, commander of the First Army Corps,
against whom the army nourished the greatest resent-
ment, finally removed any further cause we might have
had for anxiety. .

At last, towards midnight, Edhem Pasha, the new


Minister for War, arrived, and was received with every
mark of enthusiasm. We welcomed him on the steps of
the Parliament building, but unfortunately, Edhem Pasha,
who was suffering from asthma, in the emotion caused by
the events, was seized with a syncope just as he was getting
out of his carriage. This placed us in a very awkward
predicament, but a few moments of rest and attention
brought him round, and he was able to stand upon a chair
and speak to the soldiers in a suffocated voice, his meaning
being gathered rather from his gestures than from any
sound that came from him.
This pantomime over, Edhem Pasha joined us, and we
deliberated together on the best way of getting the soldiers
away. These latter then began placing before us their
various complaints against certain of their officers, and
their requests that they should be removed from their
commands. Such and such a colonel, for instance, had
trampled on the Koran, and was no longer fit to lead his
men; while numerous others had committed similar or
different offences. Their complaints, written down on
slips of paper, were handed to me, and we promised that
the cases should be looked into and justice administered.
At last the soldiers asked that a week's holiday should be
proclaimed at Constantinople. I pointed out that this
would be a little absurd, as there was no victory over the
enemy to celebrate, or any other particular occasion for a
22
338 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
fete.They accepted this view of the matter, but abso-
upon firing a coup de joie as they left, although
lutely insisted
we pointed out to them that it was now past midnight,
and any firing in the city, especially in Galata or the
European quarter, would certainly greatly alarm the in-
habitants. On the signal for departure being given, there
was such a terrible firing that we really thought our last
hour had come, and it gave rise to a very ugly incident.
As some of the soldiers were on the upper floors of the
building and others in the courtyard, these latter, suppos-
ing the firing to be an attack on them, became very alarmed,
and took up positions with their weapons ready in front of
the big entrance door, which was immediately closed, as
well as on the staircase and in the windows. It was

only with great difficulty that we succeeded in making


them understand the position and preventing them from
firing.
The withdrawal of these thousands of soldiers took over
two hours, and until far into the night the streets of the

city resounded with the firing.


It was during this firing that Rifaat Bey, ignorant
of its real nature, took to flight, and entered a wardrobe
room. Thinking the window in front of him was on
a level with the ground outside, he and his son walked
through it and fell several feet, both being injured

the father rather seriously. They were taken to a neigh-
bouring house to be cared for, and it was not until the
next day that we learned what had happened to them.
When the last of the troops had left, we invited the
wounded Minister of Marine to join us, and we accompanied
him as far as the house of his relative, Hassan Femi Pasha.
Just as we were leaving, my carriage, which had disappeared
all day, as mysteriously returned. I parted from Edhem

Pasha and the others at the gates of the Sublime Porte, and
continued on my way, amid the firing of the soldiers, to
my hotel, the Pera Palace, where I arrived after three
END OF A MEMORABLE DAY 339

o'clock in the morning, having, like most of the other


actors on this memorable day, neither rested nor tasted
food since the previous morning. I found a telegram
awaiting me from the new Grand Vizier, Tewfik Pasha,
inviting me to go early to the Yildiz Pa'lace.
CHAPTER XIX
1909
— 1910
My —
interview with Abd-ul-Hamid A changed Sultan Young —

Turk reprisals — Efforts to avert a catastrophe Exiled again
— Deposition of Abd-ul-Hamid and accession of his brother
My return to Constantinople Incidents in the Chamber—


The Bagdad railway question The Committee of Union and
Progress masters of the Empire.

After taking some rest, I went to the Palace about ten


o'clock, and found the Grand Vizier, the Sheik-ul-Islam,
and other Ministers. The Grand Vizier passed on to me
the Sultan's order, in virtue of which I was appointed
Minister of Justice, and, in case this did not please me,
Minister of the Interior. I declined both offers, pointing
out the inconvenience to myself of accepting a portfolio in
the circumstances and the advantage of my continuing
my activity in the national representation. The Sultan
approved my reasons when they were submitted to him,
and the Chamberlain, Emin Bey, came to tell me that His
Majesty asked that I should go and see him. At that
moment Omer Rushdy Pasha, who was also invited to the

Palace, arrived, and declined the offer that had been made
to him to take over the command of the First Army Corps.
I urged upon the Grand Vizier and his colleagues the im-
mediate appointment to this post of Nazim Pasha, who
seemed to me to be the only man capable of meeting the
needs of the moment. But my recommendation of this
officer was rejected by the Sultan, who was always animated

by the greatest animosity towards him, and as the Ministers


340
TALK WITH THE SULTAN 341

were leaving to go and take up their posts at the Sublime


Porte, they told me of their failure, and suggested that I
should insist with the Sultan on this matter, as I might
have more success.
Ushered into the throne room, I was received by the
Sultan in a manner which, after nine years' absence from
the capital, was highly flattering to me. I was struck
with the apparent excellent moral and physical condition
of Abd-ul-Hamid, who, wearing a military uniform and sword,
looked ten years younger than when last I saw him. Sit-
ting down at a table, he motioned me to a place opposite to
him, and, lighting a cigarette, started a conversation with
me in a most affable manner. He made elaborate excuses
for all that had passed between us, and said he was now
convinced of the sincerity of my sentiments towards him
and of the value of the counsels I had given him in the

past. He criticised very bitterly the conduct and attitude


of those who had provoked the present events, the serious-
ness of which he recognised, and he begged me to give him
the frankest and most sincere advice for dealing with the
situation. He added that he was happy at the existence
of the new
regime, which he intended faithfully to main-
tain, as he considered it the sole guarantee now for his
personal glory and the good of the country. He was, he
said, so convinced of the advantage of the new order of
things, that he swore upon the Prophet and the Koran that,
even should his people now come and throw themselves
at his feet and beg him to resume the absolute power, he
would not consent, because he believed it was the last
effort made to save the Empire, and if it also should

unhappily fail, the Empire would be lost.


In reply to the thanks which I expressed to His Majesty,
he told me my origin as an Albanian constituted a special
title to his high appreciation, as he had always had much
sympathy for the Albanians, whom he invariably found
sincere and faithful. As he said this, some of the troops,
342 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
who were still firing their guns out of sheer joy, came before
the windows of the Palace and acclaimed the Sultan, upon
which he rose to return their salute and gave me leave
to go.
Before doing so, however, I assured His Majesty that
one of the indispensable factors of renewed order and
security was that proper discipline should be restored to
the Army, and that to that end a chief should be appointed
who was capable of enforcing order. No one seemed to me
more suited to this task than Nazim Pasha, who, in spite of
the doubts which His Majesty entertained as to his fidelity,
was, I was sure, very patriotic and very honest, and I was
ready to be guarantee for him. Without any further
opposition, the Sultan assured me he would appoint him
to the post, and that he would at once have a telegram sent
to him at the island of Prinkipio, where he was living.
My conviction gained from this audience was that the
Sultan was in no way responsible for the events that had
just taken place, and that he was quite sincere in the
declarations he had made, not on account of his oaths,
but because I realised that he actually found a certain

repose and security from his former continual fears in the


new regime, which gave satisfaction all round.
From the Palace I went direct to the Chamber, where I
found a large number of the deputies assembled in the
great hall, and here I gave them an account of my long
audience with the Sultan and the conversation we had had.
The next day (Thursday) we called all the deputies together
which I gave an expose of the situa-
in a secret session, at
tion and appealed for union and concord, giving an under-
taking that we would take measures to ensure the inviol-
ability of those of our colleagues who had been forced to
take flight under the pressure of adverse public opinion.
An understanding and unity having thus been established,
we held a public meeting, when a resolution was adopted
to the effect that every deputy should draw up a telegram
A PUNITIVE EXPEDITION 343

for his constituents informing them of the events that had


taken place, and giving them assurances that the new
regime had not suffered, and that Parliament was continuing
its work in perfect order. I immediately drew up the text
of my own telegram for Valona, and this was adopted as
their model by all my colleagues.
owe a debt of gratitude to the memory of the British
I

representative, Sir Gerard Lowther, who was good enough,


at my request, to instruct all the British consuls to assure
the population that the Constitution was not compromised,
an assurance which, coming from the representative of
Great Britain, gave them special confidence.
Unhappily this calm, and the satisfactory understanding
between the deputies of different opinions, did not last
long. The news that a detachment of the army of Salonica,
under the command of Mahmoud Shefket Pasha, was
coming to the capital to restore order and with punitive
intentions, brought about a complete change in the senti-
ments of the Unionist deputies, who at the Saturday's
sitting delivered speeches of the utmost virulence. When
the arrival of the army at Tchatalja was announced, the
leaders of the Committee openly manifested the feelings
of vengeance that possessed them, which rendered the
general situation, and especially that of the new Cabinet,
exceedingly difficult.
The bringingof troops into the capital from Salonica
would certainly cause a collision between the two armies,
the consequences of which could not but be of the utmost
gravity alike for the capital and for the Empire. It was
decided that the Chamber should send a deputation to
Tchatalja of several deputies belonging to different parties
to assure the commander of the uselessness of his journey.
But the deputation were not successful in this mission.
There remained nothing, therefore short — of opposition
by the army of the
capital

except the intervention of
the representatives of the great Powers. I feared that
344 ISMAIL KEMAL BEY
if this Salonica army was allowed to approach, there would

be massacres and looting of a terrible description.


From conversatio